FAA orders inspections of some Boeing 777 engines after United fire

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The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered immediate inspections of Boeing 777 airliners with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines before further flights, after an engine burst into flames on a United Airlines plane.

The engines are used on 128 older versions of the jet, accounting for less than 10 percent of the more than 1,600 777s delivered, Reuters reported.

Only a handful of airlines in the US, South Korea and Japan were operating them recently, according to the report.

The carriers must conduct a thermal acoustic image inspection of the large titanium fan blades on the engines, the FAA said.

“Based on the initial results as we receive them, as well as other data gained from the ongoing investigation, the FAA may revise this directive to set a new interval for this inspection or subsequent ones,” the agency said.

Boeing said it supported the FAA’s inspection guidance and would work through the process with its customers.

Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, on Monday said a preliminary assessment has revealed that damage to a fan blade in the failed United engine is consistent with metal fatigue.

A spokeswoman for Pratt, owned by Raytheon Technologies, said fan blades would need to be shipped to its repair facility in East Hartford, Connecticut, for the latest inspections, Reuters reported.

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