Less than a week after a Boeing 777 suffered engine failure and scattered pieces of its right engine over a suburban Denver neighborhood, another incident occurred when a 777 was forced to make an emergency landing in Moscow after the pilot received a warning of possible engine failure. The exact cause of the warning is currently under investigation, but has done little to allay concerns about Boeing aircraft after a series of engine problems over the last few months. Besides the Denver incident, a cargo Boeing 747 was forced to make an emergency landing in the Netherlands the same day, and in December a Japan Airlines flight was forced to return to Okinawa after takeoff. All three aircraft had Pratt and Whitney engines.
Rossiya Airlines (part of the Aeroflot group) Flight 4520 from Hong Kong to Madrid was diverted to Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport around 5 am Friday, February 26, 2021. A cargo flight, all 25 passengers onboard landed safely and reached their final destination.
Unlike the United aircraft, the Rossiya Airlines flight had General Electric engines. Boeing ordered a grounding of 777s with PW400 Pratt and Whitney engines (those on the United plane) worldwide while they investigate the incident.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the scattering of engine parts over Denver was caused by issues with the cowlings, or engine covers, of Boeing's 777 fleet. Even though the failure was caused by a faulty fan blade, the cowling separated from the engine.
Another potential cause of the incident aboard the Rossiya Airlines flight (and the United one) is metal fatigue, the weakening of a metal due to constant stress and weight that creates small cracks. Many aircraft engines were built in the 1990s and have not been updated or replaced to the present day. Regardless of the cause of the Moscow emergency landing, another incident with its 777 aircraft does not bode well for Boeing.
What do you think of this incident? What caused it? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.
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