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Boeing 777 is targeted by FAA for fixes after engine broke apart

Alan Levin and Ryan Beene

U.S. aviation regulators have proposed modifications to some Boeing 777 jets to prevent engine debris from flying loose in a failure and endangering passengers as happened in some recent incidents.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday filed a pair of proposed directives in the Federal Register that would require strengthening the engine inlets and adding shielding on Pratt & Whitney engines used on 777-200 and 777-300 aircraft.

An American Airlines Boeing 777 prepares to land at Miami International Airport, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Miami.

The FAA in a third airworthiness directive proposed expanding required inspections for Pratt & Whitney engines. The company is a division of Raytheon Technologies Corp.

In this image taken from video, the engine of United Airlines Flight 328 is on fire after after experiencing "a right-engine failure" shortly after takeoff from Denver International Airport, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Denver, Colo.

The front of an engine on a United Airlines 777-200 broke apart on Feb. 20 after departing Denver International Airport, spraying the plane with shrapnel. A fan blade that had a slowly expanding crack broke loose, triggering the damage, according to preliminary findings by the National Transportation Safety Board. 

The FAA had announced earlier this year that it was working with Boeing to develop fixes to the plane. 

Only United operates 777s with Pratt & Whitney engines in the U.S. Most 777s have different engines that aren't subject to the FAA proposals.  

Boeing and Pratt & Whitney didn't immediately comment.