A news report posted on nytimes.com states that aviation regulators currently investigate incidents involving Pratt & Whitney engines that rained metal parts from jets and forced some emergency landings. An engine on a United Airlines Boeing 777 burst into flames and spewed mechanical debris in one recent event. Fortunately, the plane returned safely to Denver International Airport.
A recent string of alarming airplane engine failures has damaged the once stellar reputation of Pratt & Whitney. Pratt & Whitney’s products have the center of two terrifying jet engine failures over the weekend. While in flight, the jet engines were shedding mechanical debris over populated areas in Netherlands and Colorado. Last December, one Pratt & Whitney engine failed, forcing a Japan Airlines jet to turn around just after takeoff in Okinawa.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is heading up the investigation into the Colorado incident in which a United Airlines jet’s right engine burst into flames. As in the case of the Okinawa incident, the Colorado event involved a Boeing 777 outfitted with a Pratt & Whitney PW4000 jet engine. The Netherlands incident also involved a jet equipped with the same Pratt & Whitney series but a different model from those involved in the Colorado and Japan incidents.
Following the most recent United Airlines flight equipment failure, the Federal Aviation Administration announced an emergency inspection order for all jets equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines.
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