On February 20, 2021, a Boeing 777 United Airlines flight from Denver, Hawaii became world headlines after pieces of its engine landed in a residential neighborhood in Colorado. The letter UA Flight 328 received a catastrophic engine failure just four minutes after takeoff, no one on board or on the ground was injured. We are studying the current aftermath of the incident a year later.
The final report has not yet been published
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) immediately launched an investigation into the incident. The team collected debris from Pratt & Whitney PW4077 scattered across Bloomfield, Colorado, while the investigation was backed by experts in “metallurgy, flight crew operation, air traffic control, maintenance accounting and on-board recorder.”
The NTSB has released a preliminary report identifying the cause of broken fan blades, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued emergency airworthiness directive demanding a closer inspection of the blade. However, a year later the final report has not yet been published.
Summons United Airlines
Although no one was physically injured in the engine failure, several passengers and Broomfield residents filed lawsuits against United Airlines. The claims concern emotional distress as well as property damage.
This includes 14 passengers who have filed a federal lawsuit against United in Denver. The lawsuit was dismissed after the last plaintiff reached an agreement with the airline on January 24. The terms of the agreement are not disclosed.
Recently, United upheld a federal lawsuit with 14 passengers. Photo: Getty Images
In Cook County, where the airline is headquartered, there are still dozens of open cases against United.
A large piece of the engine fell into Kirby Clements’ yard, damaging his truck. In November, Clements received compensation for property damage, but is still considering lawsuits for mental and emotional suffering.
Said Clements 9NEWS Sunday,
“We sat here for six months with a damaged truck sitting on our porch and reminded us every day of what had happened. There was no one who contacted us to offer any support, apologize or say : ‘Do you need anything?’ or “what can we do?”
Engine directives will not change anything
In December, the FAA released proposed engine changes to the affected Boeing 777. Former NTSB chairman Jim Hall believes the engine directives will not get to the heart of the matter.
The affected United 777-200s are still awaiting return to service. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flight
“I think the FAA is lost, and the FAA’s main mission is security. In fact, over the last decade, the system itself has had flaws, and it needs to be adjusted to the same extent as this engine.“
A piece of United Airlines 777-200 fleet remained in place after the incident a year ago, and plans to return this type to service this year.
Do you think the UA328 flight was investigated effectively? Let us know in the comments.
The airline will join IAG, Pegasus and Turkish Airlines as the latest AACO partner.
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