FAA Orders Inspections Of More Jet Engines

Five El Pasoans among passengers inside Southwest Airlines plane when engine exploded

Engine maker CFM International on Friday recommended the ultrasonic inspections on fan blades that have been used in more than 30,000 cycles. She died later from her injuries.

The move comes after the engine on Southwest Airlines flight 1380 exploded in midair on Tuesday.

Seven other passengers were slightly injured.

Investigators say there was a fault with the engine's fan blades. The separation was seemingly caused by cracks in the fan blade.

#FAA Statement (1/4): The FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) https://t.co/NTqXpA3PY4 that requires operators to inspect fan blades on certain CFM56-7B engines within 20 days.

The directives apply to CFM International engines of the type that was fitted to the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 that suffered an uncontained engine failure on Tuesday. Riordan died at a hospital after the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. An investigation into that incident also found signs of metal fatigue, according to the NTSB. The containment ring had likewise failed to protect the plane from shrapnel caused by the explosion.

Southwest, which had opposed efforts by CFM past year to shorten the FAA's proposed 18-month deadline, said on Friday that its maintenance programme met or exceeded the new requirements. The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents 60,000 commercial pilots in the USA and Canada, supported the measure.

Though the comment period ended in October 2017, no decision has yet been made.

The new inspection is to be done while the engine is on the aircraft's wing.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board's official report, several factors were blamed for the crash including a catastrophic fan blade fracture in the number 2 tail-mounted engine. The oldest blades would be inspected within six months, while many others would face an 18-month deadline.

The FAA last August notified carriers it was prepared to require inspections based on CFM's service bulletins, but had not finalised those inspections.

After the disgusting incident that occurred on Tuesday, Southwest Airlines is assisting the surviving passengers of Flight 1380. If true, this would indicate that the problem is much more widespread than the manufacturer had previously stated.

Some passengers that were on Tuesday's Southwest Flight 1380 received a $5,000 check from the airline, among other items.

While recommendations from airplane and engine manufacturers like CFM are not mandatory - only regulators can force airlines to act - the carriers often follow the recommendations to reduce their liability in case of accidents. This measure, which comes after the agency dragged its feet on the aforementioned Airworthiness Directive for months, is little more than a cosmetic measure created to cover for the greed and negligence of the airlines.

A public memorial service for Ms Riordan is set for Sunday in Albuquerque.

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