Following an engine failure on Saturday, United Airlines has temporarily suspended all of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft featuring Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines.
United Airlines Grounds 777-200 Subfleet With Pratt & Whitney Engines
On Saturday, a United Airlines 777-200 traveling from Denver to Honolulu experienced right engine failure while climbing over Denver. Although the images were scary (an engine on fire is never comforting), the plane safely made it back to Denver and no one was injured.
— michaela🦋 (@michaelagiulia) February 20, 2021
— Tamas (@tamaskls) February 20, 2021
United Airlines has responded by grounding all 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from its schedule. United noted:
Starting immediately and out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily and temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule. Since yesterday, we’ve been in touch with regulators at the NTSB and FAA and will continue to work closely with them to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service. As we swap out aircraft, we expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced.
Safety remains our highest priority – for our employees and our customers. That’s why our pilots and flight attendants take part in extensive training to prepare and manage incidents like United flight 328. And we remain proud of their professionalism and steadfast dedication to safety in our day to day operations and when emergencies like this occur.
United currently has a large surplus of aircraft, so impact upon consumers will be limited. In fact, those headed to Hawaii this week originally on a 777-200 will likely see a more comfortable internationally-configured 777-200, 777-300ER, or 787.
A Repeat Incident?
One Mile at a Time reminded me that this wasn’t the first 777-200 Pratt & Whitney incident on United. In 2018, a similar incident happened on another flight to Hawaii, though the engine did not burst into flames:
— Maria Falaschi (@mfalaschi) February 13, 2018
After that incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that aircraft inspections failed to notice that the fan blades were weak.
It will be interesting to see if the UA328 incident encountered a similar problem three years later.
United Airlines has temporarily grounded all of its Boeing 777 subfleet featuring Pratt & Whitney engines. An investigation is ongoing.
image: @tamaskls / Twitter