Southwest Airlines explosion victim had ties to El Paso

Joanna Estrada
April 19, 2018

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.

Passengers aboard a Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday struggled to pull a woman back into the plane after she was sucked into a hole left by a shattered window, witnesses said.

Seven other passengers were slightly injured.

A catastrophic engine failure on a Southwest Airlines flight from NY to Dallas killed one person and forced an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday in a terrifying ordeal for passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes almost a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work. Debris from the engine hit the plane and damaged a window, leading to a woman being partially blown out.

Investigators were called to the three sites, all of which fell within the miracle plane's flightpath after it was forced into a frenetic emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport. The No. 13 fan blade-one of 24 titanium alloy fan blades-had broken at the point where it attached to the disk hub, where there was evidence of fatigue cracking. The airplane, a Boeing Co. It is something the FAA proposed making mandatory almost a year ago, but the draft directive was never approved.

Kelly said ultrasonic inspections use a light electrical current to seek out weakness in the metal of the fan blades. That covers more than 700 737s, including more than 500 737-700s.

"They will examine the inspection records of this engine", Sumwalt says.

American Airlines has about 300 planes with that type of engine, and Delta Air Lines has about 185.

The FAA did not say how many engines would be inspected.

Sumwalt said he could not yet say if the incident, the first deadly airline accident in the United States since 2009, pointed to a fleet-wide issue in the Boeing 737-700. The plane was pitched at an angle of more than 40 degrees for a few unnerving seconds before it leveled out and began an emergency descent, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters Wednesday in Philadelphia. Shults's husband also confirmed her name to the Associated Press.

A New Mexico bank executive who died on a Southwest Airlines flight was remembered Wednesday as a dedicated mother of two who helped others find jobs, volunteered around Albuquerque and brought often fractious sides together. The airline said it would make sure the flight crew is feeling fit for duty before they head back in the air.

The Rev. Timothy Bourman said he grabbed his wife's hand and prayed Tuesday as his Southwest flight dropped in midair and an oxygen mask dangled in front of his face.

"No, it's not on fire, but part of it's missing, " Shults said, pausing for a moment.

"There is something going on with these engines", he said, "and the statistical likelihood of additional failures exists".

William Waldock, a safety expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, predicted the FAA's decision. The NTSB added that it continues to investigate the engine failure. "God bless them all and we thank God for his care in landing our plane".

Depending on the size of the hole, such accidents could either create just enough force to shuffle papers around, or, as in the case of the Southwest incident, pull a full-size human out of the plane, according to Seeker.

"The plane rattled and shook and people were screaming, crying", said passenger Julian Lujan, 22, who was returning to Texas from his first trip to NY.

"There needs to be proper inspection mechanisms in place to check for this before there's a catastrophic event", said Sumwalt.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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