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Boeing 777 grounding explained visually

Boeing 777 grounding explained visually
Two Boeing planes dropped engine parts on Saturday. Same engine manufacturer as past events. NTSB eyes fan blades cited in 'scary' 2018 United flight.
George Petras and Janet Loehrke, USA TODAY
Air safety officials are focusing on engine fan blades in their investigation of what caused a massive engine failure aboard a Boeing 777-222 commercial airliner Saturday, strewing huge aircraft parts across neighborhoods in suburban Denver.
This engine failure may be related to several others stretching back for years, but first let's review the details of the most recent event.
United Airlines Flight 328, bound for Honolulu, reported right engine failure shortly after leaving Denver International Airport at 12:49 p.m. The engine caught fire and began to disintegrate as passengers recorded and photographed the failing engine in flight.
Chad Schnell was among the passengers with a view of the damaged and burning engine. This is what he saw outside the window:
Some of the missing engine pieces ended up in someone's front lawn in Broomfield, Colorado.
The aircraft, with 231 passengers and 10 crew, returned to Denver and landed safely shortly after takeoff. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Who makes the engines for the Boeing 777?
For United Airlines Flight 328, it was Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of defense contractor Raytheon. According to its parent company, "Pratt & Whitney designs, manufactures and services the world’s most advanced aircraft engines and auxiliary power systems for commercial, military and business aircraft."
The Federal Aviation Administration ordered increased fan blade checks on Pratt & Whitney PW4077 engines, the type used by United 777s. Commercial airlines around the world grounded their 777s, pending investigation. Boeing recommended the suspension of operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s using Pratt and Whitney 4000-112 engines until further notice.
United has 44 other Boeing 777s, all with GE engines, which are not affected by United's 777 grounding or the FAA directive. The airline will use those planes to fly between San Francisco and Taipei, Taiwan, in March instead of its grounded 777s, according to United spokesman Charlie Hobart.
American Airlines has 67 Boeing 777s in its fleet. They are powered by Rolls-Royce and GE engines, which also aren't affected by the FAA's directive. The planes were used for international flying before the pandemic and are now frequently used for flights within the USA, spokesman Sarah Jantz said.
In December, two fan blades broke off in flight on a Japan Airlines 777-200 with a Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engine on a flight from Naha to Tokyo, according to The Seattle Times.
In July 1989, the NTSB found that a titanium fan blade made by General Electric failed, causing United Airlines Flight 232 to crash, killing 110 people. United failed to notice a defect in the metal, according to the NTSB.
The Associated Press reported the FAA wants more frequent inspections of the hollow fan blades used in Pratt & Whitney 4077 jet engines on United planes.
The NTSB said two of the 777's fan blades were fractured, other blades were damaged and part of one was embedded in the engine's containment ring – metal or composite material designed to keep broken blades inside the engine.

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