The U.S. Air Force said on Feb. 23 that Pratt & Whitney [RTX] has informed the service that the company does not believe that the in-flight failure of a PW4000-112 engine on a Boeing [BA] 777 airliner on Feb. 20 will have a downstream impact on the military service.
About five minutes after taking off from Denver International Airport for a flight to Honolulu on Feb. 20, United Airlines Flight 328 had an uncontained engine failure on its starboard engine, and debris from the engine fell over a one-mile area of a Denver suburb, and the nearly intact engine inlet narrowly missed hitting a home. The 777 returned to Denver and landed safely about a half hour later.
No injuries were reported on the ground nor among the 231 passengers and 10 crew on the aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Feb. 21 ordered increased inspections for 777s with the PW4000 series of engines, and Boeing said that it had recommending suspending operations for 777s with PW4000-112 engines.
The Pratt & Whitney PW4000-112 engine that failed on the United Airlines Boeing 777 “is not installed on any USAF aircraft,” the Air Force said on Feb. 23. “Other engines from the PW4000 family are in the USAF inventory, including PW4000-94 engines on [Boeing] KC-46s. The engine designs are significantly different. We are monitoring the ongoing investigation and will take appropriate actions as information on any USAF-owned engines becomes available.”