Boeing nails 128 planes to the ground again after new incident

Boeing has requested the grounding of 128 of its Type 777 commercial planes around the world, the day after a dramatic engine failure on one of United Airlines’ planes over Colorado. While the US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority (FAA) on Sunday ordered additional inspections on certain Boeing 777-type commercial aircraft, United Airlines, the company that was the victim of the incident, and the two main Japanese airlines, JAL and ANA, pinned down their devices with an engine similar to the one that caused the problem.

As a reminder, a United Airlines Boeing 777-220, which had taken off Saturday from Denver (Colorado) for Honolulu (Hawaii) with 231 passengers and 10 crew members, had to make an emergency U-turn after the fire in his right reactor. The aircraft was able to land safely at Denver Airport and none of its occupants were injured.

As the Boeing returned to the airport, a shower of debris, some large, fell in a residential area in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver. No one was injured on the ground, according to local authorities.

The United States National Transportation and Safety Board is also investigating the incident, in which no one was injured.

Several companies involved

“While the investigation is ongoing, we have recommended that the operations of the 69 777 aircraft in service and 59 aircraft in stock equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines be suspended.”Boeing said in a statement.

United said it has voluntarily withdrawn 24 Boeing 777s from service and expected “only a small number of customers are inconvenienced”.

Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced that they had grounded 13 and 19 aircraft with PW4000 engines, respectively, but avoided flight cancellations by using other aircraft.

Japan’s Transport Ministry said it had ordered stricter engine inspections after a JAL 777 plane flying from Tokyo Haneda Airport in Naha, Okinawa Island, had problems with “an engine of the same family” in December.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the head of the US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority, Steve Dickson, said that after consulting his team of aviation safety experts, he asked them to publish an instruction to emergency airworthiness which would require immediate or in-depth inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

According to NBC News, US federal officials said South Korea also uses devices with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines.

New blow for Boeing

The American aircraft manufacturer has had a serious problem in recent years with another of its models, the 737 MAX. The plane was banned from flying in March 2019 after two accidents that killed 346, that of Lion Air in Indonesia in October 2018 (189 dead) and that of Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 in Ethiopia (157 dead).

After more than 20 months of prohibition, a modification of the flight control software and the implementation of new pilot training protocols, the aircraft was allowed to fly again.

The resumption of commercial flights of the Boeing 737 MAX took place from December 2020, first in Brazil, then in the United States and Canada. The first commercial flight in Europe, under the colors of the Belgian company TUI fly, took place on Wednesday February 17 between Brussels and Alicante then Malaga, in Spain.


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