Westjet to accelerate engine inspections following Southwest incident

Pauline Obrien
April 20, 2018

The development follows Tuesday's deadly engine explosion involving a Southwest Airlines jet.

Last year, Southwest Airlines had opposed a recommendation by the engine manufacturer to require ultrasonic inspections of certain fan blades within 12 months, saying it needed more time to conduct the work.

The passenger sitting there, Jennifer Riordan, was sucked into the hole.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said its order for engine inspections would be issued within the next two weeks.

- SkyFOX was over Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday morning as the plane that suffered an engine failure this week, killing one woman, was wheeled out of the hanger again.

William Waldock, a safety expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said he expects that this week's incident will push the FAA to require more detailed inspections of fan blades, but the details and pace will depend on whether investigators find fatigue in other fan blades on the broken engine.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators believe the left engine failed when one of its 24 titanium alloy fan blades snapped off midflight, causing the front cowling of the engine to disintegrate and firing shrapnel into the cabin of the aircraft.

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Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters that the fan blade had a second fracture about halfway along its length.

He could not say if the incident indicated a fleet-wide issue with the Boeing 737-700.

They were able to land the plane going at a speed of 165 knots, which is about 190 miles per hour. "It sounded like the plane was coming apart, and I think we pretty quickly figured out that something happened with the engine".

With no apparent warning, the plane's left engine exploded after one of its fan blades broke off.

What do we know about the engines?

Just look at the left engine of Southwest Flight 1380, and it's obvious that something awful befell that machine. "We are holding Jennifer and her family in our thoughts and prayers".

Ms Riordan was killed and seven others were injured when the Boeing 737 blew an engine at 30,000 feet.

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Who was the victim?

Riordan, a Wells Fargo bank executive and mother of two, died later at a Philadelphia-area hospital. No debris-including acrylic from the shattered window in row 14-was found inside the aircraft, indicating that the window was shattered and blown out by the cabin pressure. Fellow passengers helped pull Riordan back into the plane. Philadelphia's medical examiner said she died from blunt impact to her head, neck and torso.

With Tuesday's possibly preventable fatality in mind, Froehling isn't the only flight attendant stepping forward to ask passengers to pay more attention during the brief safety demo.

Who was the pilot? "Our hearts are heavy", Captain Tammie Jo Shults and First Officer Darren Ellisor said in a statement released by the airline.

Shults and Ellisor said they were focused on working with investigators and would not be speaking to the media.

Shults's persistence in becoming a pilot goes back to her upbringing on a New Mexico ranch, near Holloman Air Force Base, Shults wrote in the book "Military Fly Moms, " by Linda Maloney. She had flown supersonic F/A-18 Hornets as one of the Navy's first female pilots at a time when women were still barred from combat duty, before leaving active service in 1993.

Jennifer Riordan was Vice President of Community Relations for Wells Fargo for nearly 10 years according to her Linkedin profile. The mayor of Albuquerque took to Twitter to express his condolences.

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