United Airlines flight UA328 suffers serious engine failure

UA328 above Denver. Photo: © Hayden Smith

A United Airlines Boeing 777 has suffered a serious engine failure shortly after departure from Denver. The aircraft was heading to Honolulu on flight UA328.

Involved was N772UA, a 26 year-old Boeing 777-200. It was forced to return for an immediate emergency landing, which the pilots carried out safely with no further incident. According to the airline, there were 231 passengers and ten crew members on board.

There are no reported injuries, initial reports say. However, metal pieces of the aircraft’s engine casing were seen falling to the ground and landing in a neighborhood in Broomfield, a city near Denver, Colorado.

Details on what caused the incident are not yet known. The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA) has confirmed that it will investigate together with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Denver-based investigators are responding, the NTSB says.

A video posted on Twitter shows how passengers sitting on board the Boeing aircraft saw the severely damaged Pratt & Whitney PW4077 engine. At least one engine blade was partly missing.

Two highly similar incidents also occurred with United Airlines in 2016 and 2018. Both cases involved a serious failure of a Pratt & Whitney PW4077 engine on Boeing 777-200 aircraft, the first one being caused by a birdstrike, the second by an oversight during engine maintenance.