United Flight 382 and Similar Incidents Involving Boeing 777 with Pratt & Whitney Engines


A United Airlines Boeing 777 plane that suffered a catastrophic engine failure shortly after leaving Denver International Airport, littering Colorado neighborhoods with large chunks of debris, led the US aircraft manufacturer, airlines and international regulators to order inspections and even landings of the wide-body aircraft.

The movements come after a PW4000 engine on United Flight 382, ​​which was heading to Honolulu, exploded on Saturday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing in Denver less than half an hour after takeoff and dialing. the third incident in recent years involving the same jet and same engine.

BOEING RECEIVES A FAA INSPECTION ORDER ON SOME 777 ENGINES AFTER A UNITED FAILURE

In December 2020, a Japan Airlines 777 en route to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport returned to Okinawa’s Naha Airport after pilots experienced a problem with one of the PW4000 engines, manufactured by Pratt & Whitney. Japan’s Transportation Safety Board found two broken fan blades, one with a metal fatigue fracture, and said its investigation into the matter is ongoing.

Additionally, a fan blade broke on a different United Boeing 777-200 aircraft in February 2018, which was flying over the Pacific Ocean during a flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. An NTSB investigation of the incident determined that the lack of training in the Pratt & Whitney Thermal Acoustic Imaging Inspection (TAI) process resulted in “an incorrect evaluation of an indication that resulted in a sheet with a crack being returned to the service where it finally fractured. ” “

According to the most recent registration data, PW4000 engines are only used in aircraft flying in the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

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Approximately 69 Boeing 777 aircraft in service contain the Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engine, while another 59 remain in storage. Boeing recommended on Sunday that the planes remain on the ground until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) establishes an appropriate inspection protocol. United, the only US operator of the Boeing 777 with PW4000 engines, said it would ground the planes immediately.

Japan’s Transport Ministry on Sunday ordered All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to land planes with PW4000 engines. The ministry said the order applied to 19 Boeing 777s from All Nippon Airways and 13 from Japan Airlines with PW4000 engines.

Reuters reported that the South Korean Ministry of Transportation also did the same on Wednesday, ordering local airlines Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Jin Air to inspect the fan blades of PW4000 engines in a total of 29 Boeing 777s.

Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies, said in a statement Sunday that it had dispatched a team to work with the NTSB investigators and was “actively coordinating with operators and regulators to support the revised inspection interval of Pratt & Whitney PW4000 Engines That Power Boeing 777 Aircraft “.

The company said Tuesday that the TAI process requires the affected fan blades to be shipped to the FAA-authorized repair station at Pratt & Whitney, where the inspection will take place.

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“Pratt & Whitney is coordinating all actions with Boeing, airline operators and regulators,” the company said. “The safe operation of the fleet is our highest priority.”

The FAA said the agency will review the results of the PW4000 engine inspections on a “continual” basis, adding that it may review how often these engines are inspected in the future.

Hours before the United flight took off in Colorado, a smaller variant of the PW4000 engine in a Longtail Aviation Boeing 747 exploded over the skies over the Netherlands, throwing up small debris and injuring a woman on the ground. The cargo flight was taking off from Maastricht airport and headed for New York.

Heart Security Latest Change Change %
licensed in letters BOEING COMPANY 229.34 +17.22 + 8.12%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 54.96 +4.35 + 8.60%
RTX RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES 77.67 +3.68 + 4.97%

Despite all the PW4000 engine problems, the share price of Pratt & Whitney parent company Raytheon has only risen. Over the past five days, it has increased more than 6%. as does the aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

The controversy hasn’t negatively affected United either. Over the past five days, your stock has risen more than 19%.

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