SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — United Airlines has removed 24 Boeing 777s from service after the flight from Colorado that forced an emergency landing shortly after takeoff.
If you have seen the images and the video, it is terrifying. The engine of a United Airlines Boeing 777, a Pratt and Whitney 4077 engine, caught on fire.
On Sunday, ABC4 spoke with aviation experts around the country to ask how it would impact Utahns and those traveling at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Before we get to that, it is important to note the engine failure that happened in Denver should never happen.
Aviation expert John Nance says Boeing is not to blame. He instead says the problem was with Pratt and Whitney’s engine.
This is now the third time in three years a PW4000 engine series has failed during a commercial flight. It happened on a plane departure in San Francisco to Hawaii in 2018 and then in Japan back in Dec. 2020.
After these incidents, the FAA is now inspecting all United Airlines Boeing 777s throughout the country. The fleet includes 24 in operation and 28 which are stored.
Robert Mann, an aviation expert, says that the inspections could mean delays for those flying in or out of Salt Lake City International Airport.
Mann told ABC4 the engine failure in Denver was because two large blades somehow got detached from the rotor and flew off the engine.
This is a very unusual occurrence and most likely will never happen in a pilot’s career.
Also, commercial planes are designed to fly on just one engine, so if one fails they are able to land with the other one.
Mann told ABC4 the United crew acted professionally and immediately declared an emergency, calmly went through protocol, and had an uneventful single-engine landing.