Westjet to accelerate engine inspections following Southwest incident

Noel Cummings
April 20, 2018

In this April 17, 2018 photo provided by Marty Martinez, Martinez, left, appears with other passengers after a jet engine blew out on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 plane he was flying in from NY to Dallas.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday night it will issue a directive in the next two weeks requiring inspections of certain CFM56-7B engines.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Riordan family, and all of Jennifer's friends, loved ones, and colleagues, during this unimaginably hard time.

The National Transportation Safety Board also blamed metal fatigue for the engine failure on a Southwest plane in Florida in 2016.

Sumwalt expressed concern about such a destructive engine failure but said it was too soon to draw any conclusions about the safety of CFM56 engines or the entire fleet of Boeing 737s, the most popular airliner ever built.

Southwest said in its submission on the federal website it would have to inspect some 732 engines in one of two categories of engines under review - much higher than the FAA's total estimate of 220 engines needing to be inspected across the whole USA fleet.

In Canada, WestJet owns and operates a fleet of Boeing 737-700 jets.

"They're going to figure this out pretty fast, because it affects so many aircraft and so many engines", he said.

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As the recent engine failure on Southwest Airlines flight 1380 has shown, it's still possible for something to go wrong.

After that incident, the manufacturer of the engine-CFM International-issued a technical bulletin urging customers to conduct more frequent ultrasonic inspections of the fan in the type of turbofan engine used by Southwest's 737 Next Generation aircraft.

Photos of the plane on the tarmac showed a missing window and a chunk gone from the left engine, including part of its cover. "We're going to do this!'" Bourman said.

The injured woman's arms and body were sucked toward the opening in the plane, witnesses said.

Who was the victim?

The Albuquerque native and mother of two was Vice President of Community Relations for Wells Fargo bank for almost ten years, according to her LinkedIn account, but family, friends, and citizens in Albuquerque are remembering her for far more than her career. A gust of shrapnel blew out a window, partly sucking one passenger in Row 14 headfirst into the sky. Southwest, she said, might already be reaching out to passengers, asking if they're all right and whether they needed any sort of treatment.

Jennifer Riordan died from blunt impact after being partially sucked out of her seat midflight during Tuesday's Southwest accident, medical experts ruled.

In an event like Tuesday's accident, an incident causing sudden cabin decompression can mean passengers' air supply is rapidly pulled from the cabin.

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In a statement, the airline said the pilot of Flight 577 from Nashville to Phoenix declared an emergency after the strike, which occurred shortly after takeoff. "Our hearts are heavy", the pair said.

He only said the pilots seemed "very calm and assured of what they were doing". She hung out the hole for many minutes, said Hollie Mackey, who sat next to the victim.

Capt Shults, a New Mexico native, graduated with university degrees in biology and agribusiness before joining the military. 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.

Riordan's death is being mourned in her hometown, according to CNN.

On social media, some compared the mother-of-two with Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who glided a US Airways plane into New York's main waterway in 2009 in what became known as "The Miracle on the Hudson".

How did the drama unfold?

Martinez made a Facebook Live post showing him and other passengers with oxygen masks on, the wind whipping in the background.

For a few seconds, the aircraft rolled to an angle of 41 degrees before levelling out and starting an emergency descent, federal investigators said on Wednesday.

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But regulators face questions over the speed of their response to the Southwest jet's 2016 engine blowout.

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