The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said a preliminary assessment has revealed that damage to a fan blade in the engine that failed on a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 is consistent with metal fatigue.
The Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine failed with a “loud bang” four minutes after takeoff off Saturday from Denver, causing minor damage to the fuselage, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters Monday after an initial analysis of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
He said it was unclear whether the mishap is consistent with an engine failure on another Hawaii-bound United flight in February 2018 that was attributed to a fatigue fracture in a fan blade.
“What is important that we really truly understand the facts, circumstances and conditions around this particular event before we can compare it to any other event,” Sumwalt said at a news briefing.
The engine involved in Saturday’s incident on the 26-year-old aircraft is used on 128 planes —