Following Southwest Incident, FAA Preparing CFM56 Engine Directive
Following Southwest Incident, FAA Preparing CFM56 Engine Directive
FAA orders emergency jet engine inspections after US plane failure
21 April, 2018, 04:50
An engine on a Southwest jet exploded Tuesday while the plane was flying from NY to Dallas, and debris hit it, causing extensive damage. A woman was sucked partway out of the jet when a window shattered.
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to order inspections on engine fan blades like the one that snapped off and triggered the accident. The crippled jet made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Southwest Airlines pilot Captain Tammy Jo Shults and First Officer Darren Ellisor have been hailed as heroes for safely making the emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport. Southwest says in the letter that the NTSB continues its investigation, and the company's "primary focus and commitment is to assist you in every way possible".
"Although the number of fan blades requiring the inspection remains the same, the number of engines involved with this inspection has significantly increased", it said. The blades in both incidents showed evidence of fatigue cracks, weaknesses in the metal caused by stress.
National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said he could not yet say if the incident. pointed to a fleet-wide problem in the Boeing 737-700. "We will do all that we can to support them during this very hard time".
"I feel for her family", Needum said.
"To extrapolate that to the entire fleet, I'm not willing to do that right now".
Southwest had previously balked at the engine manufacturer's recommendation for quicker inspections of the fan blades, The Associated Press reported.
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Sumwalt said the fan blade, after suffering metal fatigue where it attached to the engine hub, suffered a second fracture about halfway along its length.
A preliminary investigation into the accident found that a fan blade inside of the Boeing's 737's left engine snapped while the jet was flying at 500 miles per hour above Pennsylvania.
The NTSB's Sumwalt said, however, that the kind of wear seen where the missing fan blade broke off would not have been visible just by looking at the engine.
Other passengers pulled her back inside but she died of her injuries.
Jennifer Riordan, a bank executive from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was killed when the engine exploded 20 minutes into a flight from NY to Dallas, blowing out a window next to her, People magazine reported.
Although oxygen levels in the air remain constant at 21 percent until altitudes of about 70,000 feet, reduced atmospheric pressure lowers air density, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
"All I could think of in that moment was, I need to communicate with my loved ones", passenger Marty Martinez told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday. During the incident, he logged on to the in-flight wi-fi to send messages to his family. Bobby Laurie, a former flight attendant turned TV show host, shared the photo with a reminder of how oxygen masks should be properly worn.
American Airlines said fan blades in the engines that were of concern had been swapped out with those in similar engines. According to Delta Airlines website, Delta A330 planes use PW1100G geared-turbofan engines made by Pratt & Whitney.
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