General Electric, maker of the engines on Boeing’s popular 777-300ER jets, has told airlines that a problem with 118 engines produced between last fall and early this spring have a problem that could cause the engines to be shut down.
Those engines have a faulty gearbox. The engine maker said 25 jets built by Boeing have two engines with those potentially faulty gearboxes that should be fixed immediately.
Two 777s have suffered gear separation while airborne. Both flights were able to continue flying on their single remaining engine to a nearby airport.
The 25 planes powered by two engines equipped with the faulty equipment should be grounded and fixed within the next five days. The other planes with the suspect gearbox only have them in one of their engines. They’re next in priority for repair. Other faulty gearboxes were installed in spare engines and in planes that have yet to be delivered.
GE said initial investigation of problem gearboxes showed a “material anomaly.” The probe continues.
The engines power the world’s largest twinjet have been exceptionally reliable during the 15 years since the plane’s introduction.