FAA orders inspections of engines like one in Southwest accident

Andre Needum the Texas firefighter who helped pull a passenger back into the plane during a deadly Southwest Airlines emergency spoke emotionally about the tragedy on Thursday

She died from blunt force trauma at a hospital after the plane's emergency landing in Philadelphia.

USA and European aviation authorities have ordered emergency inspections of jet engines similar to the one involved in a fatal accident earlier this week.

The emergency order was issued after a service bulletin was distributed on the same day by CFM International, the engine's manufacturer.

In the wake of Tuesday's tragedy, the FAA announced that it will require inspections of all CFM56-7B engines that have flown a certain number of miles.

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

A March 26 directive called for ultrasonic inspections within nine months.

After the frightful incident that occurred on Tuesday, Southwest Airlines is assisting the surviving passengers of Flight 1380.

On Tuesday, the plane Shults was flying experienced an engine fire and a hole in one of the windows.

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The CFM56 engine on Southwest flight 1380 blew apart over Pennsylvania on Tuesday, about 20 minutes after the Dallas-bound flight left New York's LaGuardia Airport with 149 people on board.

NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said that the casing which is meant to protect the engine from such debris, was penetrated due to the high speed of the broken blade.

Bloomberg noted that such inspections can be carried out without having to dismantle the engine and can be completed within about four hours per engine. The titanium fan blades involved with both incidents showed signs of metal fatigue, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is still investigating both incidents.

CFM also urged the Federal Aviation Administration to issue an Airworthiness Directive to ensure prompt compliance with the recommended inspections. Southwest said it expected to wrap up its inspection of the engines it was targeting in 30 days.

In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co.

The EASA had rejected a request by one airline to double the time allowed for checks to 18 months, matching the FAA's roll-out, saying data did not justify that.

CFM, jointly owned by General Electric and France's Safran, also recommended inspections by the end of August for fan blades with 20,000 cycles, and inspections of all other fan blades when they reach 20,000 cycles.

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