Last weekend, two different Boeing models suffered damage with falling engine parts. A Boeing 777 of the US airline United Airlines with 241 people on board had to land in Denver unplanned. No one was injured when large pieces of debris hit, including right next to a house. </p><div> <p>Also on Saturday, a Boeing 747-400 lost metal parts on a cargo flight of the charter airline Longtail Aviation shortly after take-off from Maastricht. According to media reports, a woman was slightly injured and cars were damaged. <a href="https://www.de24.news/"><img class="alignnone size-medium" src="https://www.de24.news/a1/de24.png" alt="© www.de24.news" width="400" height="20" /></a> The machine broke off the flight to New York and landed in Liege. <a href="https://www.de24.news/"><img class="alignnone size-medium" src="https://www.de24.news/a1/de24.png" alt="© www.de24.news" width="400" height="20" /></a> The PW4000 engine from Pratt & Whitney is installed in both aircraft types.</p>
The Dutch air traffic control said on Monday that the investigation into the incident had only just begun. The European Aviation Authority, EASA, announced that it would request information on the causes of both cases in order to decide on further steps.
Boeing did not initially comment on the incident in the Netherlands. With a view to the 777, the aircraft manufacturer called on the airlines to take the model with the affected engines out of circulation for the time being. United Airlines announced that it will shut down its 24 affected active machines pending the investigation. United is the only American airline that uses the aircraft type. According to the US FAA, other operators are in Japan and South Korea. Boeing announced that 69 such machines were in use. Another 59 are already on the ground due to the corona crisis. For the US aircraft manufacturer, the problems are a setback after the previous problem model 737 MAX is soon allowed to fly again. After a series of crashes, the machines had to remain on the ground for more than a year.
The US air traffic control authority (FAA) immediately announced a review of the airworthiness of all Boeing 777s with PW4000 engines. A first check of the engine failure shows “that the inspection intervals for the hollow fan blades should be increased, which are unique to this engine model and are only installed on the 777,” explained FAA boss Steve Dickson. Two fan blades were broken and panels had come loose. The affected jets 777-200 and 777-300 are older models that have already been withdrawn from many airlines. The Japanese Ministry of Transport ordered the companies Japan Airlines (JAL) and the Lufthansa partner airline ANA to decommission their 13 and 19 aircraft, respectively. At the beginning of December, according to the ministry, a 777 from JAL had to turn back due to problems with the left engine. In this case, too, the fan blades were broken.
The supervisory authority in South Korea was waiting for a recommendation from the FAA. However, Korean Air Lines said its six planes currently in use remained on the ground, and ten more have already been temporarily shut down. Asiana Airlines has nine planes and has stated that it will still discuss the consequences with Boeing and the authorities. Of the more than 1,600 Boeing 777s built to date, less than ten percent are equipped with the affected engine type. The Lufthansa Group, to which the Austrian AUA belongs, also has 777 planes. As “Aerotelegraph” reported, none of them are equipped with the affected PW engines.