Engine failure rare, less than one in a million flights

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. (KDVR) — Debris rained across Broomfield as United Airline’s flight 328 experienced engine failure shortly after takeoff from Denver International Airport. Fortunately, engine failures are rare with only one in a million flights undergoing an uncontained engine fire like the one Saturday. 

Jeff Price, an Aviation Management professor with Metro State University believes metal fatigue might have contributed to flight 328’s engine failure. He suspects the issue may prove to be a metal part that reached the end of its lifespan before it was detected.  

“Those engines they are taken apart periodically they’re x-rayed looking for any signs of wear and tear,” Price said. “It’s mechanical and mechanical things are always going to break at some point in time. The game is to try and find it before it breaks.”

Safety statistics show that about 25 flights per year across the globe experience similar engine failure such as the one on Saturday, but an uncontained fire in the engine is even rarer. One engine planes often can not maintain the same altitude which is why the pilots followed standard procedure by landing as soon as possible. 

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