Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Britain Bans Boeing Aircraft Model that Caught Fire in US

Voice of America
23 Feb 2021, 05:05 GMT+10

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says Boeing 777 aircraft with engines like the one that caught fire on a U.S. jet over the weekend will be temporarily banned from Britain.

The announcement Monday comes two days after United Airlines Flight 328 suffered the engine failure shortly after leaving Denver International Airport, in Colorado, en route to Honolulu, Hawaii. Large chunks of debris rained onto the neighboring town of Broomfield, Colorado, falling into yards, fields and onto homes. No injuries were reported on the ground or on the flight, which had about 240 people on board. The pilot was able to return safely to Denver.

The aircraft was powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines.

According to the British Civil Aviation Authority, British airlines do not operate aircraft with such engines. Foreign airlines that do operate such aircraft will not be allowed to enter British airspace for the time being.

"After the Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engine incident on a Boeing 777 aircraft, we have suspended this configuration's use in U.K. airspace," the CAA said in a statement. "It is not used by any U.K. airlines. It is operated by airlines in the USA, Japan and South Korea where authorities have also stopped its use."

United also announced it is "voluntarily and temporarily" grounding 24 Boeing 777 aircraft. "We will continue to work closely with regulators to determine any additional steps," the airline said on Twitter.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said, "The initial examination of the airplane indicated most of the damage was confined to the number 2 engine; the airplane sustained minor damage. The examination and documentation of the airplane is ongoing." The NTSB also says the cockpit voice and flight data recorders have been taken to its laboratory in Washington for analysis.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, also called for "stepped-up inspections" of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney engines.

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