Boeing grounds 777 planes after engine failure

The FAA ordered inspections for most of Boeing’s 777-model aircrafts after one of the planes suffered engine failure on a United flight. Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Keenan weighs in.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: All right moving on to another story that we're watching closely over the weekend, there was a United flight that had to make an emergency landing after one of its engines failed. And in fact, debris from that engine ended up in suburban Denver.

There were pictures of it in people's yards. So United is now going to take 24 of those 777s that are made by Boeing offline. Our Alexis Keenan is here with details for us. So what now happens? What does the investigation look like in the wake of this, Alexis?

ALEXIS KEENAN: A lot of investigation is ongoing, initiated first by Japan's aviation authority, actually, with Boeing taking action after that fact. And as you mentioned, on Saturday that was a Boeing 777 200, United flight 328. It was carrying 231 passengers, 10 crew members, and remarkably, no one injured in that flight.

And we've seen all those pictures. And we're able to show you some of that debris that was strewn across a nearby town near the Denver Airport, and really just remarkable there that nobody was injured. Now last night, Boeing did come out and say that they recommended grounding that particular configured 777 aircraft that is outfitted with a certain Pratt & Whitney engine, and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of Raytheon Technologies, of course.

They recommended that following the suspensions by Japan also, the FAA saying that those planes should be on the ground. Boeing also issued a statement to Yahoo Finance saying that they're actively monitoring the recent events involving the flight.

And they said while the NTSB's investigation is ongoing, we recommend suspending operations of 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered with that Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engine until the FAA identifies appropriate inspection protocol.

Now the company said, Boeing, for that matter, said that further inspections will be performed also by Pratt & Whitney, not just by the NTSB, not just by Boeing. Also, United is the only carrier in the US that flies that particular plane with that engine on that wide body plane. They took those 24 planes out of service. And also Japan Airlines had 13 in service. Al Nippon Airways had 19, and Korean Airways had six of them.

So those are all grounded now, not good news, of course, for Boeing playing a part here. Certainly, there's a lot of investigation to go on continuing with the ATS and the FAA and international authorities. But after the Boeing 737 MAX, this is going to be a tough road for Boeing to go down here, not to say that there is any particular identified party responsible at this point, but still really tough news.

JULIE HYMAN: Alexis, quickly here, I know it's early in this investigation. But with the 737 Max it came out that there had been sort of a history of questions and issues. Have there been any other reports of issues with this plane or these engines before now?

ALEXIS KEENAN: There have been at least a few in the last few years. There was one engine problem in December of 2020, so very recently with the Japan Airlines aircraft. Also in February of 2018, United Airlines suffered one of these failures. And they often have to do with the fan blades inside the housing of the engine. They have been found to be damaged, not properly maintained. So that's going to be an area of focus here for sure, Julie.

JULIE HYMAN: All right, Alexis. Thank you so much. We look forward to getting more updates on this as the investigation goes on.