Boeing recommends suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol. The airline manufacturer wrote in a statement.
“Boeing is actively monitoring recent events related to United Airlines Flight 328. While the NTSB investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol.
“Boeing supports the decision yesterday by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, and the FAA’s action today to suspend operations of 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines. We are working with these regulators as they take actions while these planes are on the ground and further inspections are conducted by Pratt & Whitney.
“Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.”
Japan ordered the grounding of all 32 Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways Boeing 777 aircraft with PW4000 engines.
Korean Air also grounds 6 Boeing 777 aircraft.
FAA Statement (Attributable to FAA Administrator Steve Dickson)
After consulting with my team of aviation safety experts about yesterday’s engine failure aboard a Boeing 777 airplane in Denver, I have directed them to issue an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that would require immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines. This will likely mean that some airplanes will be removed from service. We reviewed all available safety data following yesterday’s incident.
Based on the initial information, we concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.
The FAA is working closely with other civil aviation authorities to make this information available to affected operators in their jurisdictions. The FAA’s aviation safety experts are meeting into the evening with Pratt & Whitney and Boeing to finalize the details of the Airworthiness Directive and any accompanying service bulletins to ensure that the appropriate airplanes are included in the order. Exact details of the inspection will be specified in the emergency order.