FAA expected to order accelerated engine checks after Southwest accident

Jeannie Matthews
April 22, 2018

The European Aviation Safety Agency on Friday ordered emergency checks on some Boeing 737 jet engines, followed by regular inspections, in response to two Southwest Airlines engine blowouts including a deadly accident earlier this week.

The directives from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency indicated rising concerns since a similar failure in 2016 of the same type of engine - a CFM56-7B engine, made by CFM International. The CFM engines subject to the emergency directives number 681 worldwide and 352 in the US.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the inspection of nearly 700 Boeing 737 engines across the globe over the next 20 days.

Southwest had initially pushed back against CFM International's recommendation that inspections be completed within 12 months and had asked for more time previous year, reported The Associated Press.

Shortly before the FAA order Friday, CFM recommended inspections for engines with 30,000 cycles be conducted within 20 days, as well as inspections of engines with 20,000 cycles by August.

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On Tuesday, fan blade snapped in a Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines. American Airlines said it has inspected blades on the oldest affected engines, and United Airlines said it has started inspecting its 737s. The Boeing 737, bound from NY to Dallas with 149 people aboard, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

A preliminary examination of the blown jet engine showed evidence of "metal fatigue", said USA transport officials. Riordan died from head injuries, and seven others were treated for injuries. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 56,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years. After reaching a certain age, the engines should be inspected approximately every two years, the manufacturer said.

The emergency order comes amid increased scrutiny of engine inspection processes following the death of a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from NY to Dallas on Tuesday.

"The airlines are dictating to the FAA what they think should happen versus the FAA saying 'No, you are going to do this right now, '" Gary Peterson, vice president of the Transport Workers Union International, told NBC News.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the NTSB, said the risky kind of engine breakup that occurred Tuesday - called an uncontained failure because pieces were shot out like shrapnel - should not have happened.

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