The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Sunday it has “stepped up” inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft that contain the same engine model that failed over Denver this weekend.
Why it matters: “This will likely mean that some planes will be removed from service,” per a statement from FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. United Airlines and Japanese regulators have already moved to ground some Boeing 777s.
Driving the news: The United Flight 328 was carrying 231 people from Denver to Honolulu on Saturday when one of its engines failed, causing debris to scatter across Colorado’s capital, according to the FAA.
- The plane returned to Denver International Airport and landed safety.
For the record: Dickson said he had consulted with his team of aviation safety experts and “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.”
- “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,” Dickson said.
What they’re saying: United Airlines said in a statement Sunday evening, “We are voluntarily & temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule.”
- The airline added that it will continue to work with federal investigators and regulators “to determine any additional steps and expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced.”
- Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said they have also grounded planes with the Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines, per the Guardian,
- Boeing did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.