After fatal engine blow on Southwest flight, FAA orders more plane inspections

The company that manufactured the jet engine on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday after a mid-air engine failure, is calling for immediate ultrasonic inspections of fan blades on older engines of that type.

The inspections will focus on the fan blades, the FAA said.

CFM International, the maker of the engines subject to the order, estimated 352 engines in the USA are affected and 681 worldwide.

Last June, CFM issued a service bulletin to its customers recommending inspections of some of its engines.

Southwest's existing engine maintenance programme "meets or exceeds" all requirements in the new directive, the airline said on Friday.

Engines with more 30,000 total takeoffs and landings must be inspected within 20 days.

The inspections recommended within the next 20 days will affect about 680 engines globally, USA regulators said.

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Southwest is sending a letter of apology, a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher to passengers who were on a flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia following an engine explosion.

The National Transportation Safety Board believes one of the engine fan blades snapped on the Southwest jet Tuesday, hurling debris that broke a window and led to the death of a passenger who was sucked partway out of the 737.

Once the inspections are completed, CFM recommended to repeat the process every 3,000 cycles - about two years in airline service - but the FAA did not require such a measure.

Bank executive Jennifer Riordan died after being sucked half-out of a U.S. passenger jet flying at 32,000 feet when shrapnel from a blown engine smashed a cabin window.

The manufacturer of the jet engine that blew apart at 32,000 feet in a deadly accident aboard a Southwest Airlines flight wants more jets to be inspected for potential problems. The agency announced on Wednesday it would issue those orders within weeks. More than 150 of those have already been checked by operators, it said.

Inspections can be conducted without having to dismantle an engine and it takes about four hours per engine.

Moments after the 737's engine exploded, Southwest passengers rushed to help those injured.

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