Metal Fatigue Seen as Trigger for Boeing 777 Engine Failure

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Metal Fatigue Seen as Trigger for Boeing 777 Engine Failure” – below is their description.

    The jet engine fan blade that broke loose on a United Airlines plane Saturday near Denver, triggering a massive failure leading to the grounding of dozens of Boeing Co. 777s, resulted from metal fatigue, according to National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt.

    A preliminary examination of fragments found after the episode that sent metal chunks raining on a suburban neighborhood suggested a crack that grew gradually over time prompted the failure, Sumwalt said Monday night.

    NTSB investigators have begun reviewing maintenance records, interviewing the crew and examining the two crash-proof recorders recovered from the plane, Sumwalt said. They are also reviewing the potential similarity to other failures.

    “Our mission is to understand not only what happened but why it happened so that we can keep it from happening again,” he added.

    The engines were PW4077s built by Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies Corp. On Dec. 4, a blade broke on a similar engine on a Japan Airlines Co. Ltd. 777-200 that had taken off from Okinawa on a flight to Tokyo.

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