Mandatory inspections ordered after fatal flight


Mandatory inspections ordered after fatal flight

The agencies have given just 20 days for nearly 700 CFM56-7B engines, made by CFM International, to be examined. It was the first death in a United States commercial aviation accident since 2009. It is unclear how many planes will be affected by the FAA order.

Moments after the 737's engine exploded, Southwest passengers rushed to help those injured.

The window where Jennifer Riordan died after it was hit by shrapnel that smashed a window, causing her to be partially sucked out. She was pulled back in by other passengers, but later died of her injuries. The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Investigators say a fan blade broke off in flight, triggering a chain of events that shattered a window on the Boeing 737-700.

More than 150 have already been inspected.

It has also been revealed that Southwest Airlines mechanics have raised numerous safety concerns, which have been dismissed by the airline as a bargaining tactic during ongoing contract negotiations.

The FAA never issued a final decision. The agency never issued a final decision, however.

Southwest wrote in a statement that although it opposed the airworthiness directive proposed by CFM, it had nonetheless completed the inspections recommended by the manufacturer previous year.

A first inspection of the Boeing 737's damaged engine showed that an engine fan blade was missing, apparently broken due to metal fatigue, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

A Delta Air Lines spokesman said that airline had done all the necessary inspections, but he didn't know how many planes that involved. The engine that blew apart on Tuesday had done 40,000 cycles, the company said. The airplane was carrying 149 people. Critics said the airlines were slow to act.

Inspections can be conducted without having to dismantle an engine and it takes about four hours per engine. "They didn't get the inspections done, and when the FAA was going to put out (an order) they all objected". One fix shop said new blades cost $50,000 each while overhauled ones are less than $30,000.

CFM said it issued the recommendation in "close collaboration" with FAA, EASA, Boeing and CFM56-7B operators.

Aviation authorities in the USA and Europe have ordered airlines to conduct urgent safety checks of hundreds of engines of the same model as that which exploded mid-flight on a Southwestern Airlines this week.

The FAA said it has determined that fan blade cracking "is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design" and added that it was "considering further rule making to address these differences".

The European Aviation Safety Agency is adopting similar requirements, said a person familiar with the matter.

The engines that must be inspected are manufactured by CFM International. A ring created to contain engine components and prevent them from penetrating vulnerable parts of the plane in the event of failure was apparently ineffective.

"In the old days, we would have had an airworthiness directive and we would be doing the work on the engines right now".



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