Japan has ordered all flights of the Boeing 777s equipped with the engine that failed over Denver on Saturday as US aviation regulators ordered emergency inspections of the model’s fan blades to be stopped.
Japan’s Transportation Ministry on Sunday ordered ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. to ground the Boeing 777s they operate following an engine failure that rained debris on a Denver suburb but didn’t hurt anyone. ANA operates 19 planes and JAL 13 which use engines similar to the one that failed on a United Airlines plane in Denver.
The Ministry of Transportation said that on December 4, a JAL flight from Naha Airport to Haneda Airport in Tokyo returned to the airport due to a left engine malfunction about 100 kilometers north of Naha airport. This plane is the same age as the 26-year-old United Airlines plane involved in Saturday’s incident.
United Airlines is the sole US operator of the aircraft, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration. Other airlines that use them are in Japan and South Korea, the agency said.
The FAA ordered inspections after examining the failed hollow fan blade, the agency said in an emailed statement Sunday evening. The inspections apply to Boeing 777s equipped with PW4000 engines manufactured by the Pratt & Whitney division of Raytheon Technologies Corp.
FAA administrator Steven Dickson said aggressive inspections “will likely mean some planes will be out of service.”
United Airlines has said it will voluntarily halt the operations of 24 of its planes while the Federal Aviation Administration’s order is carried out.
“After consulting with my team of aviation safety experts about yesterday’s engine failure on a Boeing 777 aircraft in Denver, I asked them to issue an emergency airworthiness directive that would require inspections. immediate or intensified Boeing 777 aircraft equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 Engines, ”Dickson said in an emailed statement.
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