United Airlines Boeing 777-200, operating flight UAL328 from Denver, United States to Honolulu, Hawaii, US, suffered an uncontained engine failure, scattering engine parts over several neighborhoods around Denver.
The United Airlines Boeing 777-200 (registered as N772UA) departed from Denver International Airport (DEN) towards its intended destination to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) at 1:04 PM local time (UTC -7) on February 20, 2021. Shortly after departure, the right-hand side engine suffered an uncontained failure and was forced to turn back to its departure airport. The Triple Seven safely landed back at DEN shortly after.
The Boeing 777-200, originally delivered to United Airlines in September 1995, is the fifth 777 that Boeing has built. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 family engines.
According to a statement released by the airline, no passengers were injured throughout the incident. “We are in contact with the FAA, NTSB and local law enforcement,” further read United’s statement. Parts of the engine were later spotted throughout various places in Denver. Fortunately, no one suffered injuries on the ground.
Following the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s administrator Steve Dickson released a statement that following consultations with a team of aviation safety experts, the administration will issue an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD). The AD “would require immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines,” read Dickson’s statement. “This will likely mean that some airplanes will be removed from service.”
Another P&W PW4000-powered aircraft, a Boeing 747-400F, also suffered an engine failure shortly after departure from Maastricht Aachen Airport (MST), in the Netherlands, as it departed for New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on February 20, 2021. While the aircraft successfully diverted to Liege Airport (LGG), in Belgium, the Boeing 747-400F lost engine parts over a Dutch village, leaving two people injured.