Boeing advises airlines to suspend use of 777s after mid-flight engine failure

There are currently 69 in service and 59 in storage.

Dozens of Boeing 777 aircraft have been grounded in the US and Japan following an incident over the weekend which saw an engine fail during flight and scatter debris across a Colorado suburb.

United Airlines, Korean Air and Japan’s two main airlines confirmed they had already suspended operations of 56 planes fitted with the same engine that fell apart on Saturday.

All 231 passengers and 10 crew onboard the flight, as well as those on the ground, were unhurt.

The US Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday ordered inspections of the Boeing 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines after the incident.

“The inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes,” it said.

Boeing said similarly fitted planes should be taken out of service until the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) had determined an inspection procedure.

“While the NTSB investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines,” Boeing said.

Japan’s Ministry of Transport said it would also ground the planes until the conclusion of the investigation.

“We have decided to ground all our PW 4000 powered 777s, and we expect the FAA’s updated protocol soon,” Korean Air said.