Southwest Airlines Reportedly Protested Safety Checks Designed To Prevent Engine Failures

Bank executive Jennifer Riordan, 43, was killed in the engine explosion. Southwest told Reuters the company satisfied CFM's recommendations despite its opposition to the FAA's rule, though the company did not disclose whether the failed engine had been inspected. A woman who was sucked out of the shattered window mid-flight died from her injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to issue an airworthiness directive that will require airlines to carry out inspections on CFM56 engines on Boeing 737's.

European regulators last month ordered checks within just nine months of April 2, following the 2016 engine incident at Southwest, although investigators warn it is too early to say whether the two problems are linked.

This was the second mid-air engine accident on a Southwest plane in the last two years.

A NTSB inspection crew was also combing over the Boeing 737-700 for signs of what caused the engine to explode.

"Yes, because with no breathing, we have a tendency where, if your mouth is closed, we would normally breathe through our nose", he said. The metal fatigue would not have been observable by looking at the engine from the outside, Sumwalt said. The airline has already started the tested due to a service bulletin and the CEO of the major company stated that they will be fully compliant when the test is done. Passenger Jennifer Riordan was killed after being almost sucked out of the plane.

Videos posted on social media showed passengers grabbing for oxygen masks and screaming as the plane, piloted by Tammie Jo Shults, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, prepared for the descent into Philadelphia.

The blades, which sweep air backwards to help provide thrust, can be changed and repaired independently of the rest of the engine, meaning airlines that don't keep tabs have to examine more engines than anticipated, which adds time and cost.

It isn't clear if making the inspections mandatory would have prevented the explosion that occurred this week.

Pieces of the engine including its cowling-which covers its inner workings-were found about 60 miles (100 km) from Philadelphia airport, Sumwalt said. "But, the inspection intervals is a function of the government and maybe the government needs to have tighter intervals of inspections to prevent these kinds of catastrophic failures", Armstrong continued.

CFM suggested a shorter examination period than some airlines wanted, of no more than 12 months.

In August 2016, a Southwest flight made a safe emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida, after a fan blade separated from the same type of engine and debris ripped a hole above the left wing.

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