Boeing engine failure causes fleet groundings

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United Airlines Boeing 777-300ER
United Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

After taking off to Honolulu from Denver Airport February 20, a Boeing 777 suffered engine failure, forcing the plane to land back at the airport.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) there was failure in the right-hand engine, which one passenger recalled as creating a loud explosion which subsequently caused a fire to break out.

Debris from the engine fell from to the ground and damaging property but fortunately no people on the ground or on the flight were injured.

Following the incident Boeing has recommended grounding all 777 aircraft with the Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines.

It said 128 jets should be suspended until inspections are carried out.

According to the FAA, United is the only US airline flying this model of 777, with the others being in Japan and South Korea.

Korean Air, which has six planes in operation and ten in storage, said it was awaiting instruction from South Korean regulators regarding any measures for its 777 jets.

Only 777-200s and 777-300s are affected, and not all of those have the P&W engine type under scrutiny. 777 freighters are powered by GE90 engines.