FAA issues safety directives for Boeing 777-200 engines.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday issued three proposed directives for Boeing 777-200 planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines after an engine failure in February.

The directives will require inspections and strengthening a key engine part, and will allow Boeing 777-200 airplanes equipped with PW4000 engines to return to service, Reuters reported.

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A fan blade failure prompted an engine to fail on a United Airlines 777-200 bound for Honolulu after takeoff from Denver on Feb. 20.

The FAA said it was calling for strengthening engine cowlings, enhanced engine fan-blade inspection and inspection of other systems and components. The directives will require corrective action based on inspection results.

The FAA in February ordered immediate inspection of 777 planes with PW4000 engines before further flights after investigators found that a cracked fan blade on the United engine was consistent with metal fatigue.

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Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney said on Wednesday the inspection of fan blades was “already underway” and could “be performed in the field, on or near-wing by trained personnel.” It added the directive mandates “guidance Pratt & Whitney has provided to customers.”

The FAA said “further action is necessary to address the airplane-level implications and unsafe condition resulting from in-flight engine fan blade failures.”

United, the only U.S. operator of 777s with the PW4000 engine, has 52 of those planes that remain grounded.

In October, United said those 52 airplanes are expected to return to service as early as the first quarter of 2022.

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