United Airlines 'temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 planes from service' after engine exploded over Denver

UNITED Airlines will be temporarily removing its 777 planes from the skies to voluntarily comply with the FAA's recommendation following a harrowing ordeal where debris fell to earth after a United plane's engine caught on fire over Denver on Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement regarding Saturday's plane engine failure aboard a United Airlines flight, adding the FAA would be stepping up measures to prevent such an incident from occurring again.

"After consulting with my team of aviation safety experts about yesterday's engine failure aboard a Boeing 777 airplane in Denver, I have directed them to issue an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that would require immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines," FAA Administrator Scott Dickson said.

"We reviewed all available safety data following yesterday's incident," Dickson continued. "Based on the initial information, we concluded that 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."

"The FAA is working closely with other civil aviation authorities to make this information available to affected operators in their jurisdictions," the administrator went on.

"The FAA's aviation safety experts are meeting into the evening with Pratt & Whitney and Boeing to finalize the details of the Airworthiness Directive and any accompanying service bulletins to ensure that the appropriate airplanes are included in the order," he added.

"Exact details of the inspection will be specified in the emergency order," Dickson's statement ended.

In a statement of their own, United Airlines said it was voluntarily complying with the FAA's guidelines to remove all 777 planes from service.

"We are voluntarily & temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule," the airline tweeted.

"We will continue to work closely with regulators to determine any additional steps and expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced."

"Safety remains our highest priority, which is why our crews take part in extensive training to prepare and manage incidents like UA328," United continued. "We remain proud of our employees' professionalism and steadfast dedication to safety every day."

More to follow…

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