Boeing: 777s with engine that blew apart should be grounded

Agencies
February 23, 2021

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San Francisco, Feb 23: Boeing has recommended that airlines ground all 777s with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this past weekend, and most carriers that fly those planes said they would temporarily pull them from service.

The US Federal Aviation Administration ordered United Airlines to step up inspections of the aircraft after one of its flights made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport on Saturday as pieces of the engine's casing rained on suburban neighbourhoods.

None of the 231 passengers or 10 crew were hurt, and the flight landed safely, authorities said.

United is among the carriers that has grounded the planes.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson identified the focus on the stepped-up inspections as hollow fan blades unique to the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine model and used solely on Boeing 777s.

Dickson's statement said the conclusion was based on an initial review of safety data and would likely mean grounding some planes.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said during a virtual news conference Monday night that a fractured fan blade found in the engine had visible signs of damage consistent with metal fatigue.

The broken blade hit and fractured the blade next to it as the engine broke apart, according to a preliminary investigation.

Sumwalt said the blade that fractured first was being flown on a private jet to Pratt & Whitney's headquarters Monday night to be examined under the supervision of NTSB investigators.

Our mission is to understand not only what happened, but why it happened, so that we can keep it from happening again, he said.

Boeing said there were 69 777s with the Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines in service and another 59 in storage and affirmed they should be grounded until the FAA sets up an inspection regime.

United had 24 of the planes in service; it is the only US airline with the engine in its fleet, according to the FAA.

Two Japanese airlines have another 32. Japan ordered the planes out of service, according to the financial newspaper Nikkei, while noting that an engine in the same family had trouble in December.

In South Korea, Asiana Airlines grounded nine, seven of which were in service, and Korean Air said it grounded 16 aircraft, six of which are in service.

We are working with these regulators as they take actions while these planes are on the ground and further inspections are conducted by Pratt & Whitney," Boeing said in a statement, referring to American and Japanese regulators.

The engine maker said it was sending a team to work with investigators.

The emergency landing this past weekend is the latest trouble for Boeing, which saw its 737 Max planes grounded for more than a year after two deadly crashes in 2019 and is suffering amid the huge reduction in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Max planes began returning to the skies late last year a huge boost for the aircraft maker, which lost billions during the grounding because it has been unable to deliver new planes to customers.

Video posted on Twitter from Saturday's emergency showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew.

Freeze frames from different video taken by a passenger sitting slightly in front of the engine and also posted on Twitter appeared to show a broken fan blade in the engine.

Passengers, who were headed to Honolulu, said they feared the plane would crash after an explosion and flash of light, while people on the ground saw huge chunks of the aircraft pour down, just missing one home and crushing a truck. The explosion, visible from the ground, left a trail of black smoke in the sky.

United says it will work closely with the FAA and the NTSB to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service.

The NTSB said the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were transported to its lab in Washington so the data can be analyzed. NTSB investigations can take up to a year or longer, although in major cases the agency generally releases some investigative material midway through the process.

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said an engine in the PW4000 family suffered trouble on a Japan Airlines 777 flying to Tokyo from Naha on December 4.

The airline has said the plane had engine trouble after takeoff and returned to Naha. An inspection showed damage to the engine case and missing fan blades, according to the airline. Stricter inspections were ordered in response.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways will stop operating a combined 32 planes with that engine, Nikkei reported.

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Agencies
February 22,2021

Image result for Air force plane crash kills 6 in Mexico Veracruz state

Veracruz, Feb 22: Six members of Mexico's military were killed when the plane they were in crashed in the southeastern state of Veracruz.

A statement from Mexico's Secretary of Defence on Sunday said the accident took place in the morning when the air force's Learjet 45 was taking off from the airport in the city of Xalapa.

The statement did not say what caused the crashed or how many people were on board the plane. But it said that six members of the military were killed and an investigation was underway.

Local media reported that the plane left and runway and burst into flames.

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coastaldigest.com news network
February 12,2021

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Udupi, Feb 12: Rashmi Samant, an alumna of Manipal Institute of Technology, created history by winning the prestigious position of Oxford Student Union Presidency on Thursday. 

Samant is the first Indian woman to occupy the position of president of the Oxford Student Union. Samant bagged more than the combined votes of the other three contestants for the post.

Samant is a student of MSc in energy systems at Linacre College, Oxford University. She ran for the post of Oxford SU president with four main priorities: decolonisation and inclusivity, COVID interventions for all, access to quality mental health resources, and decarbonising the university. 

Samant said she intends to lobby for the removal of all statues proven to be imperialist, including Christopher Codrington’s. She further said she would also push for residency requirements to be waived off until the World Health Organisation declares the end of the pandemic, lobby to increase funding for the mental health strategy, and work to convince the Conference of Colleges to divest from fossil fuels as soon as possible. 

Rashmi, daughter of Vathsala Samant and Dinesh Samant, hails from Manipal. She had early education in Manipal and Udupi. She completed her graduation in Mechanical Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology (2016-2020 batch), Manipal.  

She was known for her leadership skills and spirited nature at the institute. She was the Technical Secretary of the Student Council at MIT, Manipal, and was instrumental in initiating a number of constructive activities at the institute. 

Manipal Hackathon, an event to incubate modern digital solutions to societal challenges, was conceived and introduced at MIT primarily because of her efforts. Officials of MAHE, the Director, MIT and the staff members of the institute praised Rashmi’s achievement and wished her all the success in her role as the president of Oxford SU.

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News Network
February 16,2021

Bengaluru, Feb 16: Karnataka has issued new guidelines mandating all those coming from Kerala to the State to carry a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours. 

Not just that, it has ruled that all those who have come to the State from Kerala in the last two weeks, exempting those with a negative test report not older than 72 hours, to be mandatorily subjected to COVID-19 test.

A similar restriction was placed earlier in the month in four districts bordering Kerala, but it was expanded to the entire State on Tuesday. This comes in the light of a COVID-19 cluster at a nursing college in Bengaluru being traced back mostly to Kerala returnees, even as the neighbouring State is reporting a high number of cases every day.

The guidelines say all the students in engineering and other professional colleges who have recently arrived from Kerala have to be tested for COVID-19. It calls for hostels, hotels, resorts, homestays, dormitories, and residential communities to ensure that persons checking in after travelling from Kerala have a COVID-19 negative certificate. 

It also asks hostels to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 safety guidelines and appeals to students to not frequently travel to Kerala unless strongly justified. The guidelines call for ramping up testing and strengthening COVID-19 surveillance at all education institutions that accommodate students who have travelled from Kerala.

Commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike N. Manjunath Prasad said those who try to enter the State/city without a negative RT-PCR report would have to undergo mandatory quarantine until they are tested and results are out.

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