HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is allowing United Airlines to resume using 52 planes that have been grounded since last year after a Hawaii-bound plane experienced an engine failure.
The incident happened on Feb. 20, 2021, shortly after the plane took off from Denver, Colorado. The debris landed thousands of feet below and narrowly missed a home.
Microscopic examination revealed that wear and tear caused a fan blade to snap inside the engine.
The broken blade on the Pratt & Whitney engine had been used on 2,979 flights since its last inspection in 2016. After the 2021 incident, the company called for inspections. The particular engines involved are found on fewer than 100 Boeing 777 jets that were in use at the time.
The FAA told KHON2 on Tuesday, May 17, that it approved the service bulletins that will be used to make the necessary changes outlined in the Airworthiness Directives to the Boeing 777-200 with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.
“We appreciate the collaboration with the FAA, Boeing and Pratt and Whitney to safely return these aircraft to our fleet,” a United Airlines spokesperson said.
No injuries were reported on the plane or on the ground, but two passengers sued United in April 2021.
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United plans to start using the planes on May 26. These planes will service the Hawaii markets (Honolulu and Maui) after June 10.