Federal aviation officials ordered “enhanced” inspections of certain parts of the Boeing 777 aircraft because the engine of the joint flight from Denver caught fire and scattered, scattered the debris near Colorado, and landed safely.
Federal Aviation Administration Commissioner Steve Dixon said that these inspections will apply to 777 aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.
Dixon said he made a decision after consulting with a panel of aviation safety experts-it may shut down some aircraft.
He said: “Based on the initial information, we have concluded that the inspection interval for hollow fan blades unique to this type of engine should be increased.”
Manchester United said it will immediately ground its fleet of 24 Boeing aircraft with Pratt & Whitney engines. The airline said it is cooperating with federal investigators and regulators, and expects a small number of customers will feel inconvenience during the swap.
Federal officials say that only the United States, South Korea, and Japan use aircraft with PW4000 engines, and United Airlines is the only US airline that uses them.
Reuters quoted the Japan Air Services Information Center as saying that Japan has also stopped flying aircraft using Pratt & Whitney engines.
Neither Boeing nor Pratt & Whitney immediately responded to requests for comment.
Video of the 328 passengers of United Airlines Flight 328 carrying 231 people to Honolulu last Saturday showed a combustion engine on the plane crashing in the air. Authorities said a pilot on the plane reported “probably” and told air traffic control that the plane had “engine failure.”
Although there were no reports of casualties, large pieces of metal fell into a community in Broomfield, Colorado. The pilot turned the plane around and landed safely at Denver International Airport.