A United Airlines' Boeing 777-200 landed safely in Denver this weekend after its right engine failed. Videos taken onboard by passengers revealed how bad the engine failure was. Boeing Co said it recommended suspending the use of 777 jets with the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines that shed debris over Denver at the weekend after U.S. regulators announced extra inspections and Japan suspended their use while considering further action.
Although the engine failure is a massive problem for a plane of this size, modern technology and proper protocols followed by pilots ensured all passengers and crew returned their homes safely. This however, could have turned into a massive disaster if recent images are to be believed.
Showers of jet engine parts over residential areas on both sides of the Atlantic have caught regulators' attention and prompted the suspension of some older Boeing Co planes from service. One of these parts, actually punctured the fuselage as seen in the images later posted by some Twitter users.
Correction to first tweet. Upon landing it is clear how bad this could have been. The fuselage did indeed sustain a puncture. via @dburbach: pic.twitter.com/MnEOuO0Y1c— Vipin Narang (@NarangVipin) February 22, 2021
Although there has been no clarification from United Airlines, or Boeing, reports suggest that a major crash has been averted as the flight landed safely without much problem. Many users have pointed that the plane was not at pressurized altitude hence the puncture didn't cause much trouble.
United said the next day it would voluntarily and temporarily remove its 24 active planes, hours before Boeing’s announcement. Boeing said 69 of the planes were in service and 59 were in storage, at a time when airlines have grounded planes due to a plunge in demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pratt & Whitney, which is owned by Raytheon Technologies Corp, said it was coordinating with regulators to review inspection protocols. It is expected to increase inspections ordered after previous incidents.
Images posted by police in Broomfield, Colorado showed significant plane debris on the ground, including an engine cowling from the 26-year-old plane scattered outside a home.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said its initial examination of the plane indicated most of the damage was confined to the right engine, with only minor damage to the airplane.
With inputs from Reuters