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gatibosgru
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United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:10 pm

Last edited by qf789 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: changed title for clarity
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:10 pm

Fell free to offer a better title suggestion and I'll try to update.
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:22 pm

Reminds me of the Air France incident last year... Glad everything turned out well.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:24 pm

Nacelles just don't seem to want to stay attached to the rest of the engine these days.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:36 pm

N773UA, 4th production 777A. Anyone know the hours/cycles?
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:55 pm

I have a co-worker (pilot with 3,000+ hours) who was on the flight. He just texted and said it was very violent.
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Runway28L
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:06 am

It's hard to tell, but based off of those photos it looks like just the cowling blew off and not the entire fan unlike the AF A380...?

That short video of the engine shaking is something :eek:
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:15 am

Runway28L wrote:
It's hard to tell, but based off of those photos it looks like just the cowling blew off and not the entire fan unlike the AF A380...?

That short video of the engine shaking is something :eek:


the engines shake (somewhat anyways) when the cowlings are on though
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:26 am

DaufuskieGuy wrote:
Runway28L wrote:
It's hard to tell, but based off of those photos it looks like just the cowling blew off and not the entire fan unlike the AF A380...?

That short video of the engine shaking is something :eek:


the engines shake (somewhat anyways) when the cowlings are on though

The aerodynamic forces, "flutter"(?) may be causing the shaking.

Tugg.
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:29 am

All engines must go!
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:34 am

Tugger wrote:
The aerodynamic forces, "flutter"(?) may be causing the shaking.

Tugg.

I think the last time this happened it was discussed that the vibration is caused by the damaged fan windmilling. Just like an unbalanced load of wash moves the machine across the room, unbalanced fan vibrates the whole nacelle, wing, and fuselage.
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:36 am

If that happened to me they would need to bring in a rug doctor and some new pants
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:38 am

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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:56 am

trex8 wrote:
N773UA, 4th production 777A. Anyone know the hours/cycles?

No, but UA 777A frames were all Pratts, right?

gatibosgru wrote:

Is it just me, or does that engine look really translucent?
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:00 am

Tugger wrote:
DaufuskieGuy wrote:
Runway28L wrote:
It's hard to tell, but based off of those photos it looks like just the cowling blew off and not the entire fan unlike the AF A380...?

That short video of the engine shaking is something :eek:


the engines shake (somewhat anyways) when the cowlings are on though

The aerodynamic forces, "flutter"(?) may be causing the shaking.

Tugg.


Agree looks like it just lost the cowling. It could have blown the fan blade, but the movement during the video does not look rough enough for that. There would be more movement.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:02 am

Revelation wrote:
trex8 wrote:
N773UA, 4th production 777A. Anyone know the hours/cycles?

No, but UA 777A frames were all Pratts, right?

gatibosgru wrote:

Is it just me, or does that engine look really translucent?


Yep, PW-powered. Ironically, so is the DL A332 that made the emergency landing in LOS at around the same time. Glad that everyone seems to be safe in both incidents. Judging from passenger tweets on the UA flight, crew handled it very well. As of 10/2016, N773UA had ~14800 cycles/81100 hours (as per an older a.net thread). Using the average cycles per year, should be close to 16000?

On another note, assuming it was just the cowling that was lost, what's the procedure? Just put another one on and back to revenue service? (or, in typical a.net fashion: is it a write-off?)
Last edited by reffado on Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
rbavfan
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:07 am

gatibosgru wrote:


Engine looks good from this angle. Looks like the leading ege of wing did not get damaged. Must have blown apart t the top first and finished at the bottom. Mind you I can't see the other side to see if there in som underwing damage.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:37 am

Per FlightAware, it hasn’t flown in a week and was at SFO the whole time. Anyone know what was done while at SFO? Work on #2 engine?
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:54 am

gatibosgru wrote:


There is some pretty good media trolling going on in the Erik Haddad twitter threads, if anyone wants a laugh....And Erik dinged Fox & Friends on their request for free content...funny.

Here's another good one...

https://twitter.com/andrea2s1/status/963560882302316544
 
ual763
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:11 am

wowlookplanes wrote:
gatibosgru wrote:


There is some pretty good media trolling going on in the Erik Haddad twitter threads, if anyone wants a laugh....And Erik dinged Fox & Friends on their request for free content...funny.

Here's another good one...

https://twitter.com/andrea2s1/status/963560882302316544


Yeah, that was really mature of the man trying to make it political... He's an executive at a Google too.
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:17 am

Glad everyone is okay and landed safely. That looks extremely scary! Especially the video with the engine shaking like that. I'd say they need to do a full inspection of the aircraft before putting that plane back to service. Ain't no telling if a couple of bolts or other components might of shifted or twisted. Didn't look too violent, but Jesus Christ that's scary.
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kraz911
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:45 am

Hello all,
First off, I'm glad everyone arrived safe, except for several underwear changes and great job by the crew. From the close up pictures, to me it seems to look like the incident with the Southwest engine that had the cowling separate in flight. There's a a lot of jagged aluminum around the front of the engine. Since this was the fourth production model, the cowls have been removed numerous times for engine changes. I don't remember if the southwest incident was caused by metal fatigue so I wonder what caused this. Also, the picture of the plane taxiing shows a light coloring across several fan blades. Unknown if it's a shadow of if F.O.D. damaged the blades. It might be the cause of the engine shaking in flight. If anyone has close up pics of the fan, it would be appreciated.
Thanks,
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:03 am

If you listen carefully to the tower tapes, it sounds like the 1175 crew is radioing in from a helicopter. There was clearly substantial vibration. Hard to tell from the video whether #2 was operating or just windmilling, but it must have been interesting.

Also, the winds approaching HNL can be very-choppy, so I'm not surprised to see the aircraft moving about generally on the approach. Still, this seems well beyond the norm. And when you add the background noise in the cockpit...interesting.
Last edited by wjcandee on Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:16 am

That shaking is more than you'd see from a cowling failure alone. It is acting like a windmilling engine that is unbalanced.

Do we know how far they were into the flight when this happened?
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B52overSMF
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:22 am

My wildly early (but in good fun) assessment is that there was an un-contained blade(s) failure which, when it exited the cowling, it caused enough of the cowling to twist into the airstream. Subsequently, this caused the cowling to further get pulled into the airstream until the entire cowling came off. The vibration being seen is from the first stage windmilling with an imbalance from said blade(s) failure.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:24 am

DocLightning wrote:
That shaking is more than you'd see from a cowling failure alone. It is acting like a windmilling engine that is unbalanced.

Do we know how far they were into the flight when this happened?


Passengers estimated it at about 40-45 minutes before landing.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:51 am

reffado wrote:
On another note, assuming it was just the cowling that was lost, what's the procedure? Just put another one on and back to revenue service? (or, in typical a.net fashion: is it a write-off?)


I suspect the engine will be changed. The pylon will be inspected, probably use the "Dragged Engine Nacelle/Engine Seizure" (or whatever it's called in the B777 AMM) inspection and anything else called out by UA's engineering group, with Boeing's concurrence. As part of the inspection, the airframe aft engine/pylon will be examined including the wings and certain wing/pylon fittings.

DocLightning wrote:
That shaking is more than you'd see from a cowling failure alone. It is acting like a windmilling engine that is unbalanced.


I'm undecided. The airflow around the engine is compromised, causing all sorts of turbulence. I couldn't tell from looking at the pics what kind of damage the fan sustained. The sound on that brief recording is interesting. Pretty loud and rhythmic. The shaking is probably a combination of factors. I know, I'm equivocating, but there just isn't enough information, and I've engines shake like that before...not for that duration, but certainly that severity.

The one picture that shows the blades tells us nothing about their condition. If that suspicious looking area were compromised blades, they would be at the 12 o'clock position. I think it's a shadow, or the rest of the fan is shadowed.
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:32 am

B52overSMF wrote:
My wildly early (but in good fun) assessment is that there was an un-contained blade(s) failure which, when it exited the cowling, it caused enough of the cowling to twist into the airstream. Subsequently, this caused the cowling to further get pulled into the airstream until the entire cowling came off. The vibration being seen is from the first stage windmilling with an imbalance from said blade(s) failure.


Correct
 
uatulip
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:32 am

any chance someone could link the ATC audio?
 
ha763
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:41 am

There was fan blade damage. You can see it from around 3:37 in the video.

http://khon2.com/2018/02/13/united-airl ... cal-issue/
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:02 am

Reminds me of WN3472
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:05 am

That khon2 video is compelling. There is a blade missing and a blade broken basically in half. From the looks of it, my let's-have-fun-and-guess EWAG is that a blade failure was the precipitating event, rather than the cowling "falling off" on its own. My other EWAG is that a windmilling out-of-balance engine was likely the source of the vibration; hard to believe that the engine would be run at power in that condition. A quickie listen to PHNL approach at about 40 minutes before landing didn't pick up any mayday or communication about their condition, and the conversation with tower was extremely brief: they just said that they were the emergency aircraft and that they wanted the trucks rolled if they hadn't already. Pilot communicating was almost certainly the FO judging by voice and unexpected demeanor.
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:05 am

Yup. There's an entire blade missing at the hub. That's why the engine was vibrating like that.
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fr8mech
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:09 am

Cool, single blade separation, just like blade-off testing. Outstanding.

Ha, I just looked at the url on that video from KHON:

"united-airlines-flight-lands-safely-in-honolulu-despite-mechanical-issue/"

Nice.
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ha763
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:39 am

This is the same news story from the KHON2 youtube channel just in case it disappears from the website. Plus it's also in HD and can see the damage much clearer. The website video is only SD.

https://youtu.be/J2kHchd6XHw?t=3m37s
 
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:04 am

fr8mech wrote:
Cool, single blade separation, just like blade-off testing. Outstanding.


It would have been if just like in testing the cowling stayed intact and on the engine.
It might even have been an uncontained failure by the looks of some of the photos.

With all these recent engine problems it looks as if the manufacturers are approaching the limit of what is currently possible in weight reduction, fuel economy and thrust requirements. That might be good news for all the 3 and 4 engined aircraft lovers!
 
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DIRECTFLT
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:06 am

Here's a couple of less-than-accurate headlines found on Google News:

Parts of United Airlines engine rip off mid-flight from San Fran to Honolulu

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... light.html

United Airlines engine disintegrates over Pacific, forcing emergency landing

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... er-pacific
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:42 am

Bavd wrote:
It would have been if just like in testing the cowling stayed intact and on the engine.


I don't know. I've never seen the damage to the bell mouth on a test engine. Given the air loads on an inlet zipping through the air, the engine/cowl may have acted as anticipated.

Any pictures out there of the damage done to the bell mouth after a blade-off test? The videos I see seem to indicate damage to the attachment area, but I haven't seen any good pictures of the area.
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RickNRoll
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:07 am

At least they make pylons better than they make cowlings.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:09 pm

Not second guessing...but curious.

With serious engine vibration, why not shut it down, driftdown to Single Engine Ceiling and cruise in to the alternate (45 mins out I would assume is HNL)

That’s what ETOPS certification is for.

of course going to single engine over water is always a big deal… Unless the vibration is a bigger deal . Thoughts?
 
D L X
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:22 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
Not second guessing...but curious.

With serious engine vibration, why not shut it down, driftdown to Single Engine Ceiling and cruise in to the alternate (45 mins out I would assume is HNL)

That’s what ETOPS certification is for.

of course going to single engine over water is always a big deal… Unless the vibration is a bigger deal . Thoughts?

I don’t think it’s safe to assume they continued to run the engine. If it’s missing a blade, I can’t imagine any pilot leaving it running.
 
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Revelation
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:24 pm

ha763 wrote:
This is the same news story from the KHON2 youtube channel just in case it disappears from the website. Plus it's also in HD and can see the damage much clearer. The website video is only SD.

https://youtu.be/J2kHchd6XHw?t=3m37s

If you pause it right at 3:38 you can see one blade completely gone and the top third or so of its neighbor gone as well.

You can also see that the stator vanes behind the fan in the 8 o'clock / 9 o'clock region are missing, so it appears some debris exited via the bypass flow and took out some stators.

This is what I was referring to earlier when I said the engine looked translucent...
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Spacepope
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:39 pm

Revelation wrote:
ha763 wrote:
This is the same news story from the KHON2 youtube channel just in case it disappears from the website. Plus it's also in HD and can see the damage much clearer. The website video is only SD.

https://youtu.be/J2kHchd6XHw?t=3m37s

If you pause it right at 3:38 you can see one blade completely gone and the top third or so of its neighbor gone as well.

You can also see that the stator vanes behind the fan in the 8 o'clock / 9 o'clock region are missing, so it appears some debris exited via the bypass flow and took out some stators.

This is what I was referring to earlier when I said the engine looked translucent...

The loss of the nose cowl was what really struck me. If you forget to latch them a la A320, they tend to flip up and peel off while leaving the nose cowl intact. A fan blade failure will have some forward vectors so that's probably the failure for the nose cowl with other parts of the nacelle downstream failing in short order. Engine may be damaged by fan or nacelle bits (probably both) getting eaten.

This is very similar to the WN 73G over the Gulf not too long ago.
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readytotaxi
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:20 pm

Reminds me of the BA A319 at LHR back in 2013.
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zeke
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:56 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
Not second guessing...but curious.

With serious engine vibration, why not shut it down, driftdown to Single Engine Ceiling and cruise in to the alternate (45 mins out I would assume is HNL)

That’s what ETOPS certification is for.

of course going to single engine over water is always a big deal… Unless the vibration is a bigger deal . Thoughts?


It would have been shut down, that stops the fuel flow into the engine. However the engine will continue to rotate with the air loads like a windmill, and it is that unbalanced rotation that causes vibration.
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JAGflyer
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:37 pm

Seeing as the flight was from SFO, I'm going to guess the cowling is somewhere at the bottom of the Pacific. How do they intend to find it seeing as an examination of it would probably help answer questions about what exactly happened.
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TWA302
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:50 pm

The in cabin video from the pax really shows how the fan blade loss really impacts the balance, even with the engine shut-down. Lots of vibrations/shaking. I can understand the fear they had. Even as a very frequent flyer, I would have been very uneasy too.
 
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zeke
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:48 pm

JAGflyer wrote:
Seeing as the flight was from SFO, I'm going to guess the cowling is somewhere at the bottom of the Pacific. How do they intend to find it seeing as an examination of it would probably help answer questions about what exactly happened.


All the answers I think will come from what is left if the N1 fan blade that is still attached to the hub. My guess is the fan blade failed which damaged the cowl and the aerodynamic loads did the rest ripping it off.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
Western727
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Blowout?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:18 pm

reffado wrote:
As of 10/2016, N773UA had ~14800 cycles/81100 hours (as per an older a.net thread). Using the average cycles per year, should be close to 16000?


Thanks, reffado. Any updates on current TC and TT?

I'm very curious if it's going to be written off, given the comment about the necessary inspections per the B777 AMM. That sustained shaking sure seems to suggest possible damage beyond the engine and its cowling.
Jack @ AUS
 
SonomaFlyer
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Re: United 1175 - Engine Cowling Fails

Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:30 pm

This plane will not be written off absent substantial wing or air frame damage. There is none apparent from the vids and pics we've seen so far. This is an engine failure with the cowling taking the damage as it was designed to do.

Once the NTSB inspection is done, the engine will be replaced and the aircraft inspected. It might take a few weeks depending on what is found and spares availability but she'll be good to go before long.

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