Airlines in the United States, South Korea, and Japan have grounded dozens of Boeing 777 jets after one of its planes experienced an engine failure on Saturday.
The groundings come after an engine attached to a United-operated 777 plane
failed Saturday, just minutes after the Honolulu-bound flight took off from Denver International Airport.
As United Flight 328 returned to the airport, it dropped more engine debris through the roofs of homes and into yards. See the picture below.
According to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an initial examination of the Pratt & Whitney PW4077 engine from that flight showed that two fan blades were fractured.
The agency said that the remaining blades exhibited damage “to the tips and leading edges.”
Boeing on Sunday recommended that airlines stop flying versions of the aircraft that are equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines while US authorities investigate the Denver incident.
The plane manufacturer said that 69 of the 777 jets that are in service are powered by the engine, while 59 such aircraft are in storage.
United Airlines (UAL
), Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and Japan Airlines (JAPSY
) all use Boeing 777s that feature Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines.
A source familiar with the situation told CNN said investigators believe a fan blade in the engine came off and took out another blade.
United said Sunday that it would immediately pull 24 planes from flying “out of an abundance of caution.”
The company said its move was voluntary and temporary and should disrupt only “a small number of customers.”