Chicago: Even as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it was investigating safety violations by four more US air carriers, Chicago-based United Airlines (UA), in a move unrelated to the audit grounded all 52 of its 777s or 11 per cent of its fleet. It canceled 41 flights Wednesday informing the FAA that it had failed to perform tests on part of the fire suppression system on the Boeing 777 aircraft.
UA said a review of its maintenance records revealed that required checks on cargo fire suppression systems were "not performed."
UA said one of five bottles in the 777's cargo fire suppression systems had been overlooked during routine maintenance checks.
"This system is regularly tested as part of the preflight safety checks," UA said. "These checks [now being conducted] are related to compliance. United will not operate these aircraft until the tests are complete. . .We apologize for any inconvenience."
The grounding follows in the footsteps of other US airlines which have come under increased scrutiny by the FAA for safety oversight.