Boeing Issues Warning to Ground 777 Aircraft After Fire

Barely a month after its 737 Max jet was cleared to fly again, Boeing has been struck by another safety crisis.

After a Boeing 777’s engine failed during a flight over Denver on Saturday, the US plane manufacturer has recommended that airlines ground their fleets to allow for investigations to take place.

Boeing’s recommendation, if followed, would mean grounding 128 jets that use Pratt & Whitney PW4000-112 engines. 69 of these are currently part of active fleets, while 59 remain in storage.

“Boeing is actively monitoring recent events related to United Airlines Flight 328,” Boeing said in a statement released on Monday, adding that it supported the decision of the Federal Aviation Authority and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau to suspend operations of 777 aircraft powered by the engines in question.

“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.”

While flying to Hawaii on Saturday, Flight 328’s right engine failed and scattered debris over a Denver suburb before the plane touched down again. None of the 231 passengers and 10 crew on board were injured, nor were any pedestrians.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also confirmed on Monday that 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney engines have been temporarily banned from entering UK airspace.

In 2019, the Boeing 737 Max was grounded worldwide following two aircraft crashes that resulted in 346 casualties.

US regulators gave the 737 Max clearance to fly again in November, with European authorities following suit in January. Overall, the aircraft’s grounding by regulators is believed to have cost Boeing $20 billion.

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