Why did a Boeing 777 fall apart? Inside the terrifying flight
The United States, the UK, Japan, and South Korea have grounded all Boeing 777 planes after one of the Boeing 777 aircraft’s jets suffered engine failure last Saturday, sending a dangerous amount of debris crashing down on Denver, Colorado. Man, are any of you guys getting major Donnie Darko vibes?
On Sunday, Boeing recommended that all airlines stop flying this specific version of the 777 aircraft that were manufactured with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines . . . at least until a full investigation regarding what exactly happened in Denver is complete.
Talk about a horrifying situation – it feels like something straight out of a Michael Bay movie, where you look up towards the sky and notice a storm of descending metal, crashing down to the earth like a Transformer. Let’s delve right into the full story and see if there are any updates regarding this ongoing investigation.
Boeing 777 engine failure
Last Saturday, one of the engines attached to a United-operated 777 failed, only minutes after the aircraft left from Denver International Airport. The flight was bound for mai tais & roasted pork in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. Sadly, this Boeing 777 would never reach the sandy shores of paradise.
On United Flight 328’s returning loop back to Denver International Airport, the Boeing 777 began shedding parts like a snake slithering out of its skin, dropping some of its heaving engine debris onto multiple roofs as well as the yards of Denver citizens.
Luckily, the plane landed safely back at the airport and there were no reported injuries from this terrifying accident. So maybe it’s not quite like Donnie Darko, after all.
The initial examination of the Pratt & Whitney engine showed that the blade sustained two fractions at some point, as observed by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. It was noted how there were damages to both the “tips” as well as the “leading edges of the blade”. It was also determined that one probable cause was that a fan blade became loose, falling off entirely and knocking off a second blade in the process.
While these findings were considered “preliminary”, it was still determined best and safest for airlines to pull planes with a similar engine from taking flight of any sort.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will further investigate the accident involving this Boeing 777. This process will include listening to the audio from the cockpit, examining the videos & photos taken by window seat passengers during the event, as well as examining the actual engine itself.
Both Pratt & Whitney and Boeing have responsibly opted to cooperate with the current investigation by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. Pratt & Whitney made the following statement in regards to the investigation:
“Pratt & Whitney is actively coordinating with operators and regulators to support the revised inspection interval of the 4000 engines that power certain 777s. Any further investigative updates regarding this event will be at the discretion of the NTSB.”
As well, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an emergency order that promises to ramp up the investigation. “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”, said Steve Dickson, FAA Administrator.
What are your thoughts regarding this terrifying accident? How long do you think the investigation will go on? Have you ever had a scary plane experience? You got major Donnie Darko vibes too, right? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.