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United Airlines A320 Drops Engine Parts During Takeoff in Latest Maintenance Mishap Affecting Carrier

United Airlines A320 Drops Engine Parts During Takeoff in Latest Maintenance Mishap Affecting Carrier

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A United Airlines Airbus A320 reportedly dropped engine parts during takeoff from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on Thursday, in the latest maintenance profile to have hit the carrier in recent months.

In the latest incident, the pilots of the 22-year-old aircraft contacted the control tower and said they were working on an issue just minutes after taking off at around 8 am on June 20.

Around the same time, pilots in another aircraft that was waiting to takeoff reported seeing debris on the runway, and this was reported back to United Flight 325. Rather than continuing onto Denver, the pilots decided to return to Windsor Locks.

Initially, the pilots suspected that they had a bird strike or damage to the tyre, but the airline later reported that a portion of the outer sound-dampening liner of the right engine had detached during takeoff.

The aircraft landed around 45 minutes after departure where it was reported that even more debris was left behind on the runway. The Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed that it is investigating United’s latest safety mishap.

Back in March, United CEO Scott Kirby was forced to address the airline’s recent safety record in an open letter to frequent flyers, saying that “safety is our highest priority and is at the center of everything we do”.

Around the same time, the FAA opened a probe into safety practices at the carrier and put a temporary bar on United opening new routes or certifying new aircraft while the audit got underway.

The string of safety incidents started to get prominent attention in early March when a tire fell off a United Boeing 777 as it was departing San Francisco Airport. The tire fell in an employee parking lot, destroying several cars, although thankfully, no one was injured.

Just a day later, the landing gear of a United 737MAX collapsed after the plane rolled onto the grass at the end of the runway at Houston Intercontinental Airport. Passengers had to evacuate onto the runway, but no one was injured.

There were several other maintenance issues that made international headlines, and on March 15, a 25-year-old United Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 145 passengers onboard lost an external fuselage panel mid-flight after departing San Francisco Airport.

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