United Airlines Boeing 777 Suffers Engine Failure On Denver-Honolulu Flight, Heavy Debris Spread Across Residential Area

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A United Airlines flight from Denver to Honolulu has suffered a rather scary engine failure which left engine debris scattered across a Denver suburb, some heavy pieces smashing through the ceiling of at least private residence.

The flight in question was United UA328 that departed Denver on Saturday, February 20th and the incident happened several minutes post takeoff.

The aircraft thankfully returned safely to Denver where passengers disembarked scuff free but some homes in the flight path of the flight were not so lucky.

Hawaii News (since the final destination was Honolulu) wrote about this:

A Hawaii woman experienced first hand what she called a frightening, yet well-handled, engine failure onboard the Honolulu-bound United Airlines flight 328 Saturday.

Barbara Underwood of Kauai was flying back to the islands on the Boeing 777 when the plane’s right-wing engine blew out and scattered metal debris across Colorado suburbs.

Underwood, a frequent flyer, was traveling with her husband Ed. She was sitting on the right side of the plane and said at first, she thought nothing seemed out of the ordinary as the plane gained altitude.

“I looked out the window and I saw the engine,” she said. “I noticed it was just shaking a lot. And I thought, well, it’s the turbulence.”

“And then as I was looking at it, it just blew fire. And that ring thing around it just flew off and then it was just smoking. And I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know what’s going to happen next,’” she said. …

What she saw was captured in some impressions collected from Twitter:

I wouldn’t have liked to have a window seat on this flight, watching the engine blown into pieces a few meters aside with fire coming out of it.

Neither would a spot on the kitchen table have been quite comfortable given the images above. These damages will generally be covered by the airlines corporate specialty insurance underwriters.

Here is the flight path of UA328:

The flight made a quick turn back to DEN where it landed and passengers got off the plane. It must have been a horrifying experience.

This incident will be thoroughly investigated by the NTSB:

The aircraft N772UA is a 26-year-old 777 and was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

Conclusion

United flight 328 from Denver to Honolulu suffered an engine failure that resulted in the partial disintegration of the engine (at least the outer parts). Some of this debris crashed down on private residences and caused substantial damage, although no bodily injury to any resident. All passengers and crew on the flight are well.

Not something I’d like to experience and if you go back to similar high profile engine failures such as the Qantas A380 ex Singapore where debris rained down on Indonesia’s Batam this isn’t a unicorn incident.

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