U.S. aviation safety regulators were evaluating intensified inspections of some Pratt & Whitney engines before one of the engines on a United Airlines Holdings Inc. flight separated on Saturday over a city near Denver, announced the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA’s scrutiny followed a similar engine failure on the same type of Boeing Co. 777 plane during a Japan Airlines Co. flight to Tokyo in December. This incident was the second such engine failure in three years. U.S. regulators previously ordered intensified fan blade inspections after a previous engine failure on another United 777 flight in 2018.
The FAA said Monday it had “assessed whether to adjust blade inspections” after the December incident, after reviewing maintenance and inspection records and conducting a metallurgical examination of a fragment of the blade. fan blade to determine the cause of a fracture in the engine failure.
Japan Airlines acted on its own, choosing to replace and inspect the fan blades on these engines at shorter intervals than the inspection schedule set out in the 2019 FAA guideline, a spokesperson said.
Saturday’s engine failure, which actually led to the rapid global grounding of a subset of Boeing 777s so their engines could undergo immediate inspections, is another example of how aviation safety regulators are grappling with serious aircraft incidents and accidents following the Boeing 737 MAX crisis.