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FAA Records: United Flight 328 Plane Was Nearly 26 Years Old

DENVER (CBS4) - Records from the Federal Aviation Administration show the plane involved in the United Airlines Flight 328 - in which an engine failed, plane parts fell from the sky, and an emergency landing was required - was manufactured in 1995, and was originally approved to fly in September 1995. This means the plane, a Boeing 777-222, was deemed air-worthy nearly 26 years ago.

united flight 328 denver broomfield
(credit: CBS)

Officials with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency investigating Saturday's incident, could not clarify if the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine that failed during the flight was the original engine from 1995, or if it was installed later on.

A spokesperson for the NTSB said that is something the agency will be looking at during the course of its investigation, and the agency could likely release further details about the age of the engine in the coming days.

MORE: FAA Records

This information comes following Saturday's close call when the plane was en route to Honolulu from Denver. More than 200 passengers were on board the flight when the engine suddenly failed, and parts of the plane broke off and fell into Broomfield neighborhoods below. The plane turned around and made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport, and miraculously, no one on the plane, nor on the ground, was injured.

plane damage
(credit: CBS)

Exclusive photos obtained by CBS4 show the extent of the damage the plane suffered.

Passengers described the experience to CBS4, saying the plane "shuddered" as it flew back to DIA.

A spokesperson for Boeing, the company which built the plane, could not comment about any details on the aircraft while the incident is under investigation. According to Boeing's website, new 777 models are constructed with a General Electric engine.

A similar incident happened in February of 2018 when United Airlines flight 1175, a Boeing 777-200 series, reportedly of similar vintage to the United Flight 328 plane, left San Francisco for Honolulu. The engine caught fire and started spewing debris about 36 minutes from the Honolulu airport. The plane successfully landed in that incident, as well.

Sunday night, FAA Director Steve Dickson issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive immediately requiring stepped-up inspections of all Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

"We are voluntarily & temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule. We will continue to work closely with regulators to determine any additional steps and expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced," United Airlines tweeted Sunday. "Safety remains our highest priority, which is why our crews take part in extensive training to prepare and manage incidents like UA328. We remain proud of our employees' professionalism and steadfast dedication to safety every day."

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