Boeing 777 aircraft have been grounded while waiting on an emergency Airworthiness Directive for requiring stepped-up inspections of the fan blades on Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.
On Saturday, a United Airlines flight was forced to return to Denver International Airport after it suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff.
The Boeing 777-200, with 231 passengers and 10 crew aboard, was heading to Honolulu when one of the engines burst into flames.
Thankfully there were no reports of injuries, either on the plane or the ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the incident.
The 26-year-old 777 was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines. Investigators will focus on what caused the accident and will look at whether or not a fan blade failed.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson issued a statement explaining the 777 engines have a unique hollow fan blade design and the AD is based on new information obtained by the agency.
Aircraft will reportedly be grounded until inspections are done.
The FAA says United is the only U.S. airline that uses the Pratts.
Japan has also ordered Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines to ground their fleets of Boeing 777-200 airliners equipped with the same engines and is banning 777s from other countries with those engines from landing, taking off, or entering Japanese airspace.
Boeing 777 planes that use the Pratts engine have also been temporarily banned from entering UK airspace. It is not used by any UK airline.
Virgin Australia had five Boeing 777-300ERs for long-haul international routes but decided to axe the aircraft in August 2020 to become a smaller Boeing 737-only airline.
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