FAA orders inspections for Boeing 737 engines after Southwest death

Gary Kelly - Flight 1380
The Latest: Nurse gave CPR to injured woman until landing

20 April, 2018

The US aviation authorities have ordered inspections of fan blades in jet engines after a mid-air explosion punctured a Southwest Airlines' window, killing a passenger on Tuesday.

The crack was found in a fan blade of the CFM International 56-7B turbofan engine that separated during the incident.

Metal fatigue is a weakening of metal from repeated use and involves microscopic cracks.

Southwest Airlines sought more time to inspect fan blades like the one that snapped off during one of its flights and caused an engine breakup that left a passenger dead.

A registered nurse and emergency medical technician on board jumped in to try to save the gravely injured woman.

Jennifer Riordan was a 43-year-old mother-of-two and executive for Wells Fargo bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The pilots of the twin-engine Boeing 737 bound from NY to Dallas with 149 people aboard took it into a rapid descent Tuesday and made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

By the way, if you're ever onboard an aircraft with someone who needs special assistance - say, a small child or an elderly relative - and the oxygen masks drop, put yours on first. "Another wrote, "(She) came back to speak to each of us personally.

Southwest announced its own program for similar inspections of its 700-plane fleet over the next month.

"We laid her down and we started CPR", Phillips said.

"All I could think about was how can I can I get a message out to loved ones", Martinez said on CNN. That was when he saw a window blown open about two rows ahead of him on the other side of the plane.

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Failure The intention is that any debris from such a failure should be contained within the engine and its cowlings, since released debris may have very high energy and present a serious threat to the aircraft's structure and systems.

The NTSB will compare this incident with a 2016 Southwest engine failure under similar circumstances. CEO Gary Kelly said there were no problems with the plane or its engine when it was inspected on Sunday.

Moments earlier on Tuesday morning, they had been playing Sudoku, catching up on their reading for church and curling up together to watch amusing movies as their Southwest Airlines flight climbed above 30,000 feet on its way from NY to Dallas.

Matt Tranchin, who was heading home to Dallas, began texting his eight-months-pregnant wife and his parents that he loved them and telling them things he wanted his unborn son to know if the plane crashed and he didn't make it.

'She has nerves of steel.

"Those are the kinds of people you want as pilots", she said. "A huge thank you for her knowledge, guidance, and bravery".

According to Boeing, the CFM56-7B engine is used on more than 8,000 Boeing 737 jet aircraft.

The NTSB also blamed metal fatigue for an engine failure on a Southwest plane in Florida in 2016. Sumwalt said the plane touched down at about 190mph, while a jet of that size would typically land at around 155mph.

According to the NTSB, the fan blade most likely broke off at cruising speed, causing the engine to explode and sending sharp shrapnel whizzing into the side of the plane.

Southwest said in its submission on the federal website it would have to inspect some 732 engines in one of two categories of engines under review - much higher than the FAA's total estimate of 220 engines needing to be inspected across the whole US fleet.

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