FAA to Require Strengthening of Engine Structures on B777-200s with PW4000 Engines

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require Boeing 777-200 aircraft with Pratt & Whitney engines to strengthen the cowling and structure around the engine to prevent any similar incidents to the one in February near Denver.

The timing of the requirements and release of an airworthiness directive will be dependent on engineering and design work that will need to be reviewed and approved by FAA. FAA and Boeing are working together to ensure “the structure around the engine, the cowling and the inlet area, does not damage the aircraft structure,” Dickson said at a U. S. House committee meeting.

A United 777 with a PW4000 engine failed shortly after takeoff from Denver on Feb. 20, showering debris over nearby cities. The aircraft was able to return to the airport with no injuries.

At the time, FAA ordered inspections of 777 planes with PW4000 engines, after the NTSB saw cracked fan blades on the United engine and determined they could be due to metal fatigue.

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