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Inadequate Inspections Contributed to Jet-Engine Failure That Dropped Debris Over Colorado Town

The failure on United Airlines Boeing 777 was caused by a fan blade that broke about five minutes after takeoff

The damaged engine of the United Airlines Boeing 777 being examined at Denver International Airport in February 2021. PHOTO: NTSB/ZUMA PRESS
Inadequate inspections by Pratt & Whitney were partly responsible for a midflight breakdown of a jet engine that showered a Colorado town with metal 2½ years ago, aviation-safety authorities concluded Friday.

The engine failure on the Honolulu-bound United Airlines Boeing 777 on Feb. 20, 2021, was caused by a fan blade that broke about five minutes after the plane took off, damaging the engine covering and causing it to rip away. The plane’s engine caught fire, but the flight returned to Denver and landed safely.

A 2016 inspection misdiagnosed early signs of metal fatigue forming that should have prompted a second inspection or further review, the National Transportation Safety Board wrote in a report released Friday.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Demand for Airliners Soars: ‘We Cannot Make Planes Fast Enough’

Airbus CEO sees demand continuing to outstrip supply as European plane maker accelerates output and pulls further ahead of Boeing

U.S. plane maker Boeing and European rival Airbus collectively secured over 1,000 firm orders at this year’s Paris Air Show. WSJ’s George Downs explains what these orders can tell us about the state of the duopoly, and the health of the aviation industry. 

LE BOURGET, France—Economies are wobbling around the world, but that isn’t deterring travelers clamoring for airplane tickets.

The voracious postpandemic demand for flying doesn’t show signs of cooling soon, according to aviation executives who gathered at this week’s Paris Air Show. They point to recent large aircraft orders such as Indian budget carrier IndiGo’s record 500-jet deal earlier this week.

“There is economic slowdown, but airlines do not see a slowdown of bookings,” said Guillaume Faury, chief executive of Airbus EADSY 1.87%increase; green up pointing triangle, the world’s biggest commercial jet maker. “And they continue to see a very strong demand with high prices.”

That demand has collided with the industry’s limited ability to quickly increase production of planes. Airbus and rival Boeing BA 0.13%increase; green up pointing triangle have faced constraints on the supply of things such as engines, chips and workers. Both have long order backlogs.

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Video: Boeing, Airbus and the Battle for the Perfect Plane

Many airlines are looking to renew their fleets to meet greater demand and to buy more fuel-efficient planes

As airlines head to the 2023 Paris Air Show on the hunt for the perfect plane, WSJ’s George Downs explores what advantages European plane maker Airbus has over its American rival Boeing in getting aircraft orders.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Pete Buttigieg Warns of Flight Delays as 5G Deadline Looms

Airlines have until July 1 to update equipment or face restrictions on landing in poor visibility conditions

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is warning of the potential for air-travel disruption ahead of a deadline for airlines to retrofit equipment to avoid potential interference from 5G wireless signals.

Aircraft that haven’t gone through the necessary equipment changes won’t be cleared to land in certain weather conditions when visibility is low starting July 1, when U.S. wireless companies plan to boost their 5G service to higher power levels.

“There’s a real risk of delays or cancellations,” Buttigieg said in an interview. “This represents one of the biggest—probably the biggest—foreseeable problem affecting performance this summer.”

Excerpt from WSJ
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