FAA orders engine inspections after Southwest explosion

Adjust Comment Print

U.S. aviation authorities are to order inspections of jet engines after a mid-air explosion that punctured an airliner's window, killing a passenger.

The airline opposed a recommendation by the engine manufacturer to require ultrasonic inspections within 12 months on certain fan blades like the one that snapped off in Tuesday's deadly accident, saying it needed more time to conduct the work.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator examines damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing earlier this week after a midair catastrophe caused a window to blow out.

Sumwalt expressed concern about such a destructive engine failure but said he would not yet draw broad conclusions about the safety of CFM56 engines or the entire fleet of Boeing 737s, the most popular airliner ever built. Last year, the FAA estimated that an order would cover 220 engines on US airlines.

Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters that the fan blade had a second fracture about halfway along its length.

In Canada, WestJet owns and operates a fleet of Boeing 737-700 jets.

Pieces of the engine including its cowling - the smooth metal exterior that covers its inner workings - were found about 60 miles (97 km) from Philadelphia airport, Sumwalt said.


Sumwalt said they have not determined the age of the engine. It's important to note that the wings, and thus the engines, are located beyond the pilots' field of vision from the cockpit, so it's impossible for a pilot to see or know exactly what occurred.

The engine in question is a CFM56-7B turbofan, the product of a 40-year-old joint venture between GE Aviation and France's Safran Aircraft Engines called CFM International.

Just look at the left engine of Southwest Flight 1380, and it's obvious that something awful befell that machine.

After a flight attendant asked if anyone knew CPR, Phillips and an EMT laid the woman down and performed CPR for about 20 minutes until the plane was on the ground.

Who was the victim? But Jennifer Riordan, a Wells Fargo bank executive and mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico, died later.

Passengers described scenes of panic as a piece of shrapnel from the engine shattered a plane window, nearly sucking Riordan out.

Jennifer Riordan died from blunt impact after being partially sucked out of her seat midflight during Tuesday's Southwest accident, medical experts ruled.


He, and other passengers at the back of the plane at the time, hit the aircraft's ceiling.

The incident resulted in the death of a passenger, which was the first fatality on a United States passenger airline in more than nine years. Shults, a Navy veteran and one of the first female fighter pilots in the US military, was at the controls when the jet landed, according to her husband, Dean Shults.

Tammie Jo Shults, the pilot flying SW Airlines flight 1380, was able to bring the plane to a successful emergency landing as she explains to air traffic control what has happened.

He only said the pilots seemed "very calm and assured of what they were doing". "You have to get in with an ultrasound, the same technology you look at a baby", Ganyard said.

She served in the Navy for 10 years, reaching the rank of Navy lieutenant commander.

Whatever happened inside that complicated system of fuel and fire and whirling components, it resulted in the decompression of the cabin at about 32,000 feet and, later, the death of a passenger after she almost flew out a window. Others on social media agreed, even comparing Shults with Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who glided his US Airways plane to safety in New York's Hudson River in 2009.


Comments