United Grounds 777s for Inspections
Wednesday April 2, 9:31 am ET
United Airlines Grounds 777s for Inspections, Warns Passengers to Expect Delays
CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines temporarily grounded 11 percent of its fleet Wednesday, while it
tested dozens of Boeing 777s to make sure components of a cargo fire suppression system were
operating effectively, the carrier said.
The Chicago-based airline said testing will be done on 52 777s during the next 36 hours. Spokeswoman
Jean Medina said 12 planes had been inspected and cleared to fly by midmorning.
The carrier has about 460 aircraft.
Delays were being reported in Japan and Hawaii Wednesday morning and the airline warned passengers
to be prepared for other delays and cancellations as it proceeded with the inspections.
United, a subsidiary of UAL Corp., said a review of maintenance records showed a test on one of five
bottles in the fire suppression system hadn't been performed. The airline alerted authorities.
The planes, which have a so-called "intuitive" self-diagnostic system that would have
detected any malfunction with the fire suppression system, mostly fly international routes and from
the carrier's major hubs.
United carried out unscheduled maintenance on seven of its Boeing 747 jets last month but found no
The Federal Aviation Administration has been checking maintenance records at all domestic airlines
after revelations surfaced about missed safety inspections at Southwest Airlines Co.