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FAA Orders Inspections in Wake of Deadly Southwest Airlines Engine Blowout

Undefeated Airplane Accident Lawyers Investigate Deadly Engine Blowout on Southwest Flight 1380

Airlines throughout the United States will finally be required to inspect engine fan blades on thousands of 737s, after an engine blowout aboard a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this week led to the tragic death of a passenger.

1 Southwest Passenger Died After Being Sucked Out Window, 7 Others Injured

Southwest Airlines flight 1380 was on its way to Dallas, Texas from New York’s La Guardia airport on Tuesday morning, when its left engine burst into flames in the skies over suburban Philadelphia.

A piece of shrapnel broke one of the plane’s windows, causing the sudden and severe depressurization of the cabin.

Passenger Jennifer Riordan, 43, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, suffered grave injuries when she was partially sucked out of the aircraft.

Though her fellow passengers were able to pull Riordan back into the plane and performed CPR until the flight landed at the Philadelphia International Airport some 25 minutes later, the Wells Fargo executive and mother of two was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Seven other passengers sustained minor injuries during the incident and one reportedly suffered a heart attack.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have already determined that one of the engine’s 24-fan blades had snapped off. The area where the blade separated exhibited signs of metal fatigue.

Metal fatigue was also a suspected cause of engine failure on another Southwest plane in 2016. According to the Associated Press, that incident was remarkably similar to Tuesday’s tragedy.

CFM International, the manufacturer of the CFM56-7B engine involved in both incidents, recommended last June that airlines conduct ultrasonic inspections of engine fan blades on many Boeing 737s.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed the inspections last August, but as of Tuesday, had yet to actually order them.

FAA to Issue New Inspection Order Within 2 Weeks

Now that a passenger has died, the FAA finally appears ready to act.

On Wednesday, the agency announced that it would be issuing a new directive sometime in the next two weeks requiring ultrasonic fan blade inspections for some CFM56-7B engines once they reach a certain number of takeoffs and landings.

The directive will also require airlines to replace any blades that fail the review.

On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines announced that its fleet of 737s would undergo the inspections over the next 30 days.

The company has not said whether it carried out any such inspections following the 2016 incident. It should be noted, however, that Southwest and other airlines could have conducted the recommended reviews without a directive from the FAA.

The Southwest plane involved in Tuesday’s tragic accident did undergo a visual inspection the previous Sunday. But that review would not have been sufficient to detect the type of microscopic wear that likely caused the fan blade to break away from the engine.

Were You or a Loved One Injured While Travelling on Southwest Flight 1380? Call 1-888-603-3636 or CLICK HERE for a Free Consult with Our Undefeated Airplane Accident Lawyers.

Our Undefeated Airplane Accident Lawyers are continuing to investigate Southwest Flight 1380 and will post additional updates as more information is made available.

With more than $1 billion won for our clients, including hundreds of people who were injured or died tragically as a result of the worst accidents in recent history, our firm has the resources, talent and experience to successfully take on the largest corporations in the world and ensure that our clients and their families receive the maximum compensation possible for all of their injuries and losses.

If you or someone you love were aboard Southwest Flight 1380, our Experienced Accident Attorneys can help. Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form or call 1-888-603-3636.

All consultations are free and, because we only represent clients for a contingency fee, you’ll owe us nothing unless we win your case.