On Saturday, the Boeing 777carrying 231 passengers from Denver to Hawaii was forced to return to Denver airport due to a catastrophic engine failure. No injuries were reported.
Here we’re going to break down information of what caused the sudden engine failure and Pilot’s plan of action.
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Firstly, it is important to note that the debris that fell, were in fact large pieces of the front end of the engine cowling; these parts are extremely heavy. These parts that were found on the ground could be critical clues for investigators.
Secondly, These aircraft are certified to fly on one engine, given that it’s a two-engine aircraft. Every plane manufacturer has to build an airplane that has substantial thrust so that the aircraft, in the event of an engine failure, can continue to fly safely on one engine.
The crew on board is trained for such situations. While the pilot gets assistance from air-traffic control to clear the air space and get other airplanes out of the air, for immediate landing.
Even before the investigation started there were theories which are now facts in this case. The engine is made up of a variety of different fan blades, turbine blades and compressor blades which most likely cause the engine failure as one of those blades went missing which we can make out from the photos. When these blades fail, they fail catastrophically creating a lot of shrapnel. These little parts and pieces will be critical. The key is to find and determine what the origin of that failure is, which in this case could be found in someone’s yard.
As the pilots are preparing to turn back to the airport, the ATC clears the runway the plane originally took off from; then they perform the checklist.
The engine seems to be still working in the video but it’s off and it’s the wind which creates the illusion that the engine is still on. The fire is caused by the lead in fuel lines.
The pilots safely land and passengers are de-boarded in an orderly manner.