By GILIAN FLACCUS, associated Press
Debris from a United Airlines plane fell into the Denver suburban area during an emergency landing on Saturday, as one of its engines suffered a catastrophic failure and rained engine casing pieces in a neighborhood where it was a home. Had missed
Officials said the plane landed safely, and there was no injury to anyone on the ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that Boeing 777-200 returned to Denver International Airport shortly after takeoff after suffering a right-engine failure. The agency said Flight 328 was flying from Denver to Honolulu.
United said in a separate statement that the aircraft had 231 passengers and 10 crew. The airline did not release any further details.
The Broomfield Police Department posted photos on Twitter showing large, circular pieces against a house in a suburb about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Denver. Police are asking that any injured come forward.
Tyler Thal, who lives in the area, told the Associated Press that he had gone for a walk with his family when he saw a large commercial aircraft flying unusually low and took out his phone to film it.
“While I was watching it, I saw an explosion and then a cloud of smoke and some debris falling from it. It was like a spec in the sky, and as I watch, I’m telling my family what I just saw and then we hear the explosion, “he said in a phone interview.” The plane continued on the bus, And we didn’t see it after that. “
Thal was later relieved to learn that the aircraft had made a safe landing.
The video posted on Twitter showed the engine completely engulfed in flames as the aircraft flew into the air.
Aviation safety experts said the aircraft suffered an unpublished and catastrophic engine failure. This type of phenomenon is extremely rare and occurs when any type of failure occurs in the heavy spinning disc inside the engine and dissolves the armored casing around the engine, which is designed to cause damage, John Cox , An aviation safety expert and retired airline pilot, said an aviation safety consulting firm called Safety Operating System.
In a phone interview, he said, “That unbalanced disc has a lot of force, and it’s circling several thousand per minute … and when you have so much centrifugal force, it has to go somewhere.”
Cox said pilots often practice to deal with this type of incident and turn off anything flammable in the engine, including fuel and hydraulic fluids.
Former National Transportation Safety Board President Jim Hall called the incident another example of “a rift in our culture in aviation security”.
Hall, who was on the board from 1994–2001, has criticized the FAA over the past decade as “drifting towards providing aviation overweight to manufacturers that were paying for the public.” He goes exclusively to Boeing, he said.
Despite the frightening presence of a flaming engine, most such incidents do not cause loss of life, Cox said.
The last fatal incident in a US airline flight was an engine failure of this kind in a Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Dallas in April 2018. A passenger was killed when the engine disintegrated 30,000 feet above Pennsylvania and debris flew through the window. Next to his seat. Before she goes out the window, the other passengers drag her back inside.
In that case, braking was applied to a broken fan blade in a Boeing 737 engine. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the airlines to carry out inspection of fan blades on some engines made by CFM International, General Electric and France’s joint venture. Safran SA
In 2010, a Qinas Airbus A380 suffered a catastrophic unreleased engine failure shortly after takeoff from Singapore. Splattering from the engine caused serious systems damage on the aircraft, but the pilots were able to land safely. The incident was blamed on the faulty construction of a pipe in a Rolls Royce engine.
“The flames drove everyone out of hell.” But they are the least of the problem because you are going to take them out and you can stop everything that could burn, ”said Cox.
Associated Press reporters David Koenig in Boston and Frank Buzzak in Boston contributed to this report.
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