Boeing has released a statement urging airlines to suspend 777 operations powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines following a Honolulu-bound United Airlines flight 328’s engine failure on Saturday 20 February.
The aircraft manufacturer stated on its website: “Boeing is actively monitoring recent events related to United Airlines Flight 328. While the NTSB investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol.”
“Boeing supports the decision yesterday by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, and the FAA’s action today to suspend operations of 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines. We are working with these regulators as they take actions while these planes are on the ground and further inspections are conducted by Pratt & Whitney.”
The flight made an emergency landing and landed safely back at Denver International Airport. United Airlines said on Twitter on Saturday:
Flight UA328 from Denver to Honolulu experienced an engine failure shortly after departure, returned safely to Denver and was met by emergency crews as a precaution. There are no reported injuries onboard. We are in contact with the FAA, NTSB and local law enforcement.
Engine debris fell into residential gardens after the aircraft experienced engine trouble shortly after take-off. Travel Radar Editor Callum Tennant reported on Saturday that eyewitnesses described hearing a loud bang and seeing an explosion in the right-hand engine of flight UA328. Jason Ackerman, who lives close to where the incident took place, said he heard what sounded like a “sudden thunderstorm”, followed by “several seconds of rumbling”.
Pratt & Whitney stated:
United Airlines Flight 328 is currently under NTSB investigation and Pratt & Whitney has dispatched a team to work with investigators. Pratt & Whitney is actively coordinating with operators and regulators to support the revised inspection interval of the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines that power Boeing 777 aircraft. Any further investigative updates regarding this event will be at the discretion of the NTSB. Pratt & Whitney will continue to work to ensure the safe operation of the fleet.
Boeing will be releasing more updates as more information becomes available.