Federal aviation regulators have ordered United Airlines to step up inspections of all Boeing 777s equipped with the type of engine that suffered a catastrophic failure over Denver on Saturday. The announcement comes a day after United Airlines Flight 328 had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after its right engine blew apart just after takeoff. The plane with 231 passengers and 10 crew onboard landed safely, and nobody aboard or on the ground was reported hurt, United said it is temporarily removing those aircraft from service.
The Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement Sunday that based on an initial review of safety data, inspectors “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. In a separate statement, The National Transportation Safety Board said that two of the engine’s fan blades were fractured and the remainder of the fan blades “exhibited damage.” The NTSB did caution that it was too early to draw conclusions about how the incident happened.
United said it currently has 24 of the 777s in service, and also said it will work closely with the FAA and the NTSB “to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service.”
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