FAA Orders Emergency Inspection of Engines Used on Boeing 737s

Apr 22, 2018, 01:46

The window broke and partially pulled one passenger outside of the Boeing 737 before fellow passengers brought her back into the plane. The plane, flying from NY, landed safely in Philadelphia.

Needum on Thursday declined to detail his rescue efforts out of respect for Riordan's family. One person was killed and 7 others injured. "I feel for her two kids, her husband, the community that they lived in", an emotional Needum told reporters. The debris shattered a window and the rapid decompression almost sucked out a passenger.

Riordan was a Wells Fargo banking executive and well-known community volunteer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the company said. Investigators found that the blade had suffered metal fatigue at the point of the break. The Southwest plane was a Boeing 737 equipped with an engine made by CFM International.

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The inspections ordered are a sharp step-up from actions by both the European and United States regulators after a Southwest flight in August 2016 made a safe emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida, after a fan blade separated from the same type of engine and debris ripped a hole above the left wing.

The FAA proposed making the recommendation mandatory in August but never issued a final decision.

The agency issued the emergency directive after the maker of the engine, CFM International, called for the inspection of fan blades on CFM56-7B engines.

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A National Transportation Safety Board investigator examines damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on April 17.

Southwest announced its own program for similar inspections of its 700-plane fleet over the next month. The emergency order is effective immediately and inspections must be completed within 20 days. The death marked first passenger fatality for the Dallas-based airline in its 47-year history. NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said the crack was not detectable from the outside.

That directive was anticipated to impact 220 engines, although in a comment responding to the FAA proposal Southwest said the number of engines that would need to be tested was well beyond that number, because it didn't track the wear on the individual fan blades in engines.

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It is an expansion of a previous EASA directive in 2016, issued for inspections on the same engine.

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