FAA orders inspections of more jet engines

Elias Hubbard
April 22, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered ultrasonic inspections of jet engines after an explosion on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this week killed a passenger.

Ryanair has confirmed that all 70 of its aircraft with the same engine as the Southwest Airlines flight that recently suffered from disastrous engine failure have been inspected and are in full compliance with safety requirements.

This April 17, 2018 photo provided by Marty Martinez shows the window that was shattered after a jet engine of a Southwest Airlines airplane blew out at altitude, resulting in the death of a woman who was almost sucked from the window during the flight of the Boeing 737 bound from NY to Dallas with 149 people aboard, shown after it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

The FAA and EASA directives came on the same day that the engine manufacturer, CFM International, issued a service bulletin recommending the CFM56-7B engine be inspected more frequently. "Any blades that fail the inspection will have to be replaced".

The manufacturer told CNN it has been working with the FAA on the inspection procedures.

The CFM56-7B is one of the most common engines in the sky being fitted to Boeings Next Generation 737's (-600/-700/-800 &-900) and they have an extremely good safety record and events involving cracked blades are extremely rare.

Riordan was sitting near the window and was pulled partially through.

Tuesday's accident broke a string of eight straight years without a fatal accident involving a USA passenger airliner. Investigators said the plane landed at an unusually high speed because the pilots feared losing control if they flew slower.

Before Wednesday's announcement, critics accused the FAA of inaction in the face of a threat to safety.

"There is something going on with these engines", he said, "and the statistical likelihood of additional failures exists". Then, on Friday, the manufacturer went further than the FAA, recommending inspections by the end of August of all engines that have gone through at least 20,000 flights. The said this should be done as soon as possible. A spokeswoman said it was a visual inspection and oil service of the engines. CFM said more than 150 have already been inspected. The NTSB's Sumwalt said, however, that the kind of wear seen where the missing fan blade broke off would not have been visible just by looking at the engine. Engines are typically removed for work during a D check.

Pressure for the FAA to act grew after an engine on a Southwest plane blew apart on Tuesday, showering the aircraft with debris and shattering a window.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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