Boeing 777 (illustration)
Boeing 777 (illustration) iStock

The Federal Aviation Administration is stepping up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said on Sunday.

Dickson added that it's likely some of the planes will be removed from service.

"We reviewed all available safety data following yesterday's incident," Dickson said, according to CNN, referring to the United Airlines flight that was forced to return to Denver International Airport Saturday after it suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff.

"Based on the initial information, we concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes," he added.

"The FAA is working closely with other civil aviation authorities to make this information available to affected operators in their jurisdictions," Dickson said.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Japan has requested airlines avoid using Boeing 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines for take-offs, landings and overflights in its territory until further notice.