By: Kyle James | 04-21-2018 | News
Photo credit: @joeasaprap/Mark Makela

Southwest 1380 – Worldwide 'Emergency' Engine Inspections Ordered

After an explosion aboard a Southwest Airlines flight claimed the life of a passenger, a worldwide emergency engine inspection has been ordered by both U.S. and European aviation authorities. The fatal flight from New York to Dallas Tuesday nearly went down when the left engine exploded mid-flight. Debris from the explosion shattered a window and nearly sucked a female passenger out.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FAA</a> Statement (1/4): The FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) <a href=""></a> that requires operators to inspect fan blades on certain CFM56-7B engines within 20 days.<br><br>Full FAA statement available at <a href=""></a>.</p>&mdash; The FAA (@FAANews) <a href="">April 20, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Related coverage: <a href="">Southwest Airlines Flight 1380: Engine Problem Linked To Prior Accident, Mass Inspections Ordered</a>

The FAA released a statement saying, "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) that requires operators to inspect fan blades on certain CFM56-7B engines within 20 days. The directive is based on a CFM International Service Bulletin issued today and on information gathered from the investigation of Tuesday's Southwest Airlines engine failure. The inspection requirement applies to CFM56-7B engines. Specifically, engines with more than 30,000 total cycles from new must undergo inspections within 20 days. The EAD becomes effective upon publication. The engine manufacturer estimates today's corrective action affects 352 engines in the U.S. and 681 engines worldwide."

NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said preliminary investigations revealed a fault with the engine's fan blades that was likely the cause of the explosion. When the fan blade broke off it was sucked into the engine causing the explosion that rocked the flight. The emergency mandatory inspection will encompass some 700 Boeing 737 engines over the next 20 days, according to regulators. "Fan blade failure due to cracking… could result in an engine in-flight shutdown, uncontained release of debris, [and] possible airplane decompression," the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Tania Armenta</span>

Additionally, fan blades that have undergone a certain amount of flights will be subject to special ultrasonic tests to examine their integrity. The new inspections were ordered after Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 suffered an explosion midair that resulted in the death of 43-year-old bank executive and mother of two, Jennifer Riordan.

Related coverage: <a href="">UK - British Airways Pilot Four Times Over Alcohol Limit Hauled From 300-Person Plane </a>

Southwest Airlines issued passengers of Flight 1380 an apology letter along with $5,000 checks and $1,000 flight vouchers. The airline said the checks were "to cover any of your immediate financial needs". The pilot of the fatal flight 1380 with 144 passengers and five crew managed to safely make an emergency landing despite its left engine ripping apart mid-air. Manufacturers of the CFM56-7B engine say it is currently in use on more than 8,000 Boeing 737 planes around the world.

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Thoughts on the above story? Comment below!
2 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 23704 2018-04-21 : 07:18

RIP, more talk about the woman who landed the plan than the one who died

Anonymous No. 23709 2018-04-21 : 11:13

I wanted to understand What was a engine cycle?

According to numerous sources a cycle is one takeoff and landing , which includes engine start,climb,cruise,landing and shutdown. If a engine is just started and stop on the ground it is not considered.

Since no stress/load was applied

Now think of how many engine hours 30,000 cycles "could" equal, with flight running between 2-4 hours

for the type of aircraft that uses these engines. Airbus A320 Airbus, A340 ,Boeing 737, McDonnell Douglas DC-8-70. I can see why the engines cost $8M to $10M each.

So when you look out that window at that 737 engine, you could be looking at a engine with 60,000 to 120,000 hours running time on it or at 60k hrs x 400 avg mph = 24,000,000+/- miles.

Note: Take my car in the shop with engine problems it has 96,500 miles on it.

It has a little over 8,200 hrs. according to its computer.

With stop and go, street and interstate travel, I avg. a whopping 12mph.

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