United Airlines (UAL.O) removed 25 of its Boeing (BA.N) 777-200 airplanes from service this week after discovering it had failed to perform required inspections on the wing leading-edge panels.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the airline had disclosed the issue to the agency after an internal audit and proposed a plan to complete the inspections. United said on Tuesday it had canceled around 18 flights on Monday night and Tuesday morning to conduct the inspections but did not expect to cancel additional flights because of the issue.
“We’ve completed inspections on 10 of those aircraft, and are working with the FAA to return others to service while inspections are ongoing over the next two weeks,” United said Tuesday.
The FAA said it was reviewing United’s inspection plan “as well as looking into the circumstances that led to the missed inspections.”
In May, the FAA cleared United’s 52 Boeing 777 planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney (PW) 4000 engines to return to service.
The jets were grounded after a United flight to Honolulu suffered engine failure and showered debris over nearby cities and made an emergency landing in Denver in February 2021. No one was injured and the plane safely returned to the airport.
United said Tuesday the wing leading-edge panel inspections of some of those 777-200s are not related to engines or recent engine work. The said the inspections in most cases can be completed overnight.
The inspection issue was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.