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The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday he was requiring “immediate or stepped up inspections” of all Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with a particular engine model just a day after one experienced engine failure and dropped debris over Colorado.
“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,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement.
The engine in question is a Pratt & Whitney PW4000 model, which the statement said are only used on Boeing 777 airplanes.
United Airlines, the operator of the plane that experienced engine failure, also announced it would temporarily ground all 24 of its active Boeing 777 planes with that engine model.
In a statement provided to Insider, United said it would work with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board “to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service.”
The statement said that United has 52 of these planes, 24 active and 28 in storage, and that the move to ground them should temporarily impact only a small number of customers.
United flight 328 from Denver to Honolulu, Hawaii was carrying 231 passengers and 10 crew members when it experienced engine failure Saturday shortly after taking off. The Boeing 777 aircraft began shedding debris, some of which landed in residential neighborhoods.
The plane returned to Denver International Airport and landed safely, with no injuries reported from anyone on board or as a result of the falling debris.
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