(TJVNEWS) Metal fatigue in the jet engine fan blades played an essential role in the Boeing 777-200’s engine explosion over Denver Saturday, according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Robert Sumwalt. Now the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ordering immediate inspections of Boeing 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines before further flights, according to Reuters.
A preliminary examination of the engine blade fragments suggests a crack expanded over time prompted the failure
FAA records show the Boeing 777-200 was more than two decades old. Sumwalt said investigators would try to determine how long the blades had suffered fatigue.
In a virtual news conference on Monday night, Sumwalt told reporters that United Flight 328 experienced engine issues that resulted in pieces of the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine raining down on Denver suburbs.
Sumwalt said passengers heard a loud bang, and the 777 started vibrating after takeoff from Denver International Airport. The incident occurred minutes into the flight at an altitude of about 12,000 feet.