Boeing 777: Metal Fatigue Hints Mid-Air Engine Failure; Investigation in Pratt & Whitney Laboratory

Story Highlights
  • Grounding of 128 jets until further notice issues to resume flying
  • Similar PW4000 engine tragedy was reported on Japan Airlines in December 2020
  • Half of the global aircraft fleets are equipped with PW4000 engines on Boeing 777


World: NTSB late Monday disclosed that two fan blades on Flight 328’s Pratt& Whitney engine had broken. One of them hinted metal fatigue and it broke off and chipped the second blade.

NTSB Chairman, Robert Sumwalt reported that the Pratt & Whitney PW 400 engine failed on Saturday with a “loud band” four minutes after the aircraft took off from Denver and the plane began shaking violently losing altitude.

The United Flight 328 carried 231passengers bound for Honolulu when it suffered the failure. He said,” Our mission is to understand what happened and why it happened so that we can keep this from happening again.” The blades will be flown to the Pratt & Whitney laboratory for further scrutinization by the NTSB safety inspectors. 

Boeing has recommended grounding all its 777 aircrafts with the  same engines until further investigations. On the same day as the Denver incident, an engine failure of a 30-year-old Boeing 747 freighter was reported after the debris shower in the Netherlands.

Parts of what appeared to be turbine blades landed on the town of Meerssen, with one blade found immersed in a car roof. Sources reveal, two injured on ground while the aircraft landed safely in Liege neighbouring Belgium.

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