Airline analyst: 777 engine explosion not a plane design issue

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This Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 photo provided by Hayden Smith shows United Airlines Flight 328 approaching Denver International Airport, after experiencing “a right-engine failure” shortly after takeoff from Denver. Federal regulators are investigating what caused a catastrophic engine failure on the plane that rained debris on Denver suburbs as the aircraft made an emergency landing. Authorities said nobody aboard or on the ground was hurt despite large pieces of the engine casing that narrowly missed homes below. (Hayden Smith via AP)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The FAA has ordered an emergency inspection of an engine that exploded on a Boeing 777 operated by United Airlines

It happened when the flight left Denver Saturday heading for Hawaii. Several parts of the engine fell over Broomfield, Colorado. No one was hurt.

Boeing has told companies that operate the 777 jets with the Pratt & Whitney engine to ground those particular aircraft.

One airline analyst tells KSN News the focus on the engine and not the plane. The investigation won’t impact the Wichita economy.

“I don’t think means anything for Boeing or Spirit. This is a Pratt and Whitney engine issue, not a design issue. As a matter of fact, the 777 hasn’t been built with this type of engine for over 15 years, and it’s a very small minority of the 777s out there,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group.

Only 128 Boeing 777s worldwide have the Pratt & Whitney engine.

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