American manufacturer Boeing on Monday recommended the immobilization of 128 model 777 aircraft that are in service or in storage in the state of Colorado after an engine fire in an in-flight device. “During the investigation [das autoridades) está em curso, recomendamos suspender as operações dos 69 aviões 777 em serviço e dos 59 em armazém com motores Pratt & Whitney 4000-112”, disse a empresa em comunicado.
No sábado, um Boeing 777-220 da companhia norte-americana United Airlines, que descolou de Denver, Colorado, com destino a Honolulu, no Havai, com 231 passageiros e dez membros da tripulação a bordo, foi forçado a regressar ao aeroporto de onde partiu, depois de o motor direito se incendiar em pleno voo.
O avião aterrou em segurança no aeroporto de Denver e nenhum dos ocupantes ficou ferido. Imagens filmadas por um passageiro do voo UA328 mostram o motor direito em chamas, com a fuselagem do motor destruída. Partes do motor caíram numa área residencial, sem no entanto provocar feridos.
No domingo, o regulador norte-americano para a aviação exigiu inspecções urgentes aos aviões Boeing 777 equipados com o mesmo tipo de motor.
“Depois de consultar a minha equipa de peritos em segurança aérea relativamente à falha de motor de ontem [sábado] On a Boeing 777 airplane in Denver, I asked them to issue an emergency airworthiness policy requiring immediate or thorough inspection of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with some Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, “wrote one person, who is responsible for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Steve Dickson, on the Twitter social network. “This will likely mean that some aircraft will be taken out of service,” he added.
Statement from FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. pic.twitter.com/dGkUYuKNAL
– The FAA? (@FAANews) February 21, 2021
The FAA official said a preliminary analysis of the safety data indicated the need for further verification of the affected engine type. “Based on initial information, we came to the conclusion that the interval between inspections should be shortened for the hollow fan blades, which only apply to this type of engine and are only used in the Boeing 777,” said the official.
Following the incident, United Airlines decided to take 24 Boeing 777 aircraft out of the air. Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) also announced the immobilization of 13 and 19 aircraft of this type, respectively.
According to North American media, the only airlines using this model are in the US, Japan, and South Korea.
American manufacturer Boeing has had serious problems in recent years with another of its models, the 737 MAX, which was shut down for 20 months due to two accidents in which 346 people were killed in six months.
One such device was involved in an accident in March 2019 on an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed 157 people and on a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October 2018 that killed 189 people.
Commercial flights for the Boeing 737 MAX resumed in December 2020, first in Brazil and then in the US and Canada. The first commercial flight in Europe was operated on February 17th by the Belgian airline TUI fly.