In a rare move, the FAA has asked Boeing 787 Dreamliners to fix their engines in order for them to return back into service. The agency is taking this action after discovering that certain engines were assembled with less-than-adequate quality control standards. How will this affect the many airlines leasing these airplanes?
The “boeing engine issues” is a problem that has been present for a while. The FAA is seeking engine fixes to get grounded Boeing 777s back in service.
Earlier this year, a United Airlines plane landed in San Francisco. The airline is the only one in the United States that operates Boeing 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney engines.
Shutterstock photo by john g mabanglo
The Federal Aviation Administration suggested changes on Wednesday to prevent engine covers on certain Boeing Co. BA 1.09 percent 777 aircraft from falling off, as they did in a string of instances earlier this year, including on a United Airlines plane over Colorado.
The planned modifications, which would enable the jet to return to service, are targeted at reinforcing engine covers to prevent plane pieces from detaching in mid-flight and colliding with other planes or falling to the ground.
When a United 777’s engine failed soon after takeoff from Denver in February, the exterior cover, which had been damaged by a broken fan blade, disintegrated, and metal components fell into yards in a neighboring neighborhood. There were no injuries, and the plane landed safely.
Following the incident, a subset of Boeing 777 planes powered by Pratt & Whitney engines were essentially grounded. The FAA has ordered that the engine fan blades be inspected immediately for fractures that might lead to more failures.
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The FAA also recommended an expanded inspection methodology for engine fan blades and other components on Wednesday, with specified repair measures based on the findings. Such checks are already underway, according to Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies Corp.
United Airlines, the only airline in the United States that flies that kind of jet, has 52 of them, some of which were in storage at the time of the event. The airline had intended to begin flying the wide-body planes this summer, but a spokesperson said Wednesday that it will be able to do so early next year.
After the United flight took off from Denver in February, its engine failed.
The planned reforms, according to United, are a “positive conclusion” for the sector. The airline said that it has been in constant communication with the FAA, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney, and that many of the impacted engines have already undergone the recommended inspections.
Boeing stated in a written statement that it supports the FAA’s inspection recommendations and that it would engage with its customers and Pratt & Whitney on the issue.
The event in Denver was the third in recent years of its sort. A similar event happened on a United Airlines aircraft en route to Hawaii in early 2018, and another engine cover blew away on a Japan Airlines Co. flight in late 2020.
Alison Sider can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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‘FAA Seeks Fixes to Boeing 777 Engines’ appeared in the print edition of the December 23, 2021, issue.
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