New questions about whether regulators, Southwest acted quickly enough after prior failure

New questions about whether regulators, Southwest acted quickly enough after prior failure

New questions about whether regulators, Southwest acted quickly enough after prior failure

While flying from New York's LaGuardia airport to Dallas on Tuesday, one CFM56-7B engine of the Southwest plane broke mid-air and its fan blade shaterred a window, leading to a passenger's death.

Airlines said that because fan blades may have been repaired and moved to other engines, the order would affect far more than 220 of the CFM56-7Bs, which are made by a partnership of France's Safran and General Electric.

The order, called an air-worthiness directive, would require an ultrasonic inspection within the next six months of the fan blades on all CFM56-7B engines that have accrued a certain number of takeoffs. Bank executive Jennifer Riordan, 43, was killed in the engine explosion.

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The Dallas-based carrier was not the only operator to ask for more time or suggest other changes as first the engine maker, CFM International, and then the FAA and its European counterpart proposed checks previous year for potentially flawed fan blades. Fellow passengers were able to pull her back inside but she died of her injuries later on Tuesday.

The Boeing 737-700's engines are created to contain its parts and not shed them outside the engine cowl.

Mandatory inspections will soon be ordered for jet engines similar to the one that failed in the deadly Southwest Airlines incident. She said the company had satisfied the terms of the CFM service bulletin but did not immediately answer questions about how many engines had been inspected and whether the failed engine had been inspected.

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Southwest said it is speeding up inspections of all related engines out of extra caution, which it expects to complete within 30 days.

Videos posted on social media showed passengers grabbing for oxygen masks and screaming as the plane, piloted by Tammie Jo Shults, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, prepared for the descent into Philadelphia.

The airline engine is one of the most frequently used engines in the world.

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Not only did an engine failure occur, but so did an explosive pressurization event as a result of the cabin being punctured by shrapnel. NTSB officials have told stories about absent parties who were blamed in a probable cause finding because they were absent from the investigation, and it was politically easy to assign blame to an absent party. However, a similar incident took place in 2016 when debris from a plane created a 16-inch hole on another plane operated by Southwest Airlines. It would have also required the checks be completed within 12 months. Kudos to all involved, including the passengers valiantly assisting the woman who unfortunately did not make it, and the air traffic controllers that expedited the emergency to a successful landing.

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