Southwest asked for more time to inspect planes

Southwest asked for more time to inspect planes

The Southwest Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing after an engine exploded.

Earlier this week, Jennifer Riordan, 43, died after the jet engine on a Dallas-bound Southwest flight failed mid-air, and its debris blew out a window.

Although oxygen levels in the air remain constant at 21 percent until altitudes of about 70,000 feet, reduced atmospheric pressure lowers air density, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

The accident caused the first passenger death on a Southwest flight ever, and the first on a US commercial airline since 2009.

She was the person who held onto the victim, Jennifer Riorden, and tried to keep her in the plane. The former Navy pilot was at the controls when the plane landed, according to her husband, Dean Shults. He refused to provide details about his rescue efforts out of respect for Riordan's loved ones. "I can't imagine what they're going through".

Passenger Marty Martinez decided to broadcast live from the plane on Facebook amid the chaos.

Tributes have poured in from friends and colleagues who remembered Riordan for her giving nature, her sense of community and her willingness to step up and lead. On behalf of the entire crew, we appreciate the outpouring of support from the public and our coworkers as we all reflect on one family's profound loss.

American Airlines told us it has 304 planes with these specific engines, and they too began voluntarily inspecting the CFM56-7B engines' fan blades after the proposed AD from the FAA last year.

The FAA has not made a final determination on the rule; the comment period ended in October 2017. Since Tuesday's incident, the airline has stated that they would accelerate inspections and hope to have them all completed within the next 30 days. Blades that fail will have to be replaced, the agency said. The plane was met on the tarmac by emergency vehicles that aided the injured and sprayed the area with safety foam. It will not be clear until the FAA issues its rule how many will need inspections. CEO Gary Kelly said it had logged only 10,000 cycles since being overhauled. "This is mitigated by both the manufacturers and the operators by routinely borescoping the inside of the engine".

The NTSB will look into how an interior crack on a fan blade led to the engine failure.

Flanked by his wife and parents, Needum stood before reporters in front of his Texas fire station as he explained the frightening minutes on board the aircraft. This is the second engine failure for Southwest Airlines in two years. Southwest announced its own program for similar inspections of its 700-plane fleet over the next month.

It appeared from a visual inspection that metal fatigue was the cause, Sumwalt said.

The CFM56-7B is produced by CFM International, an equal joint venture between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.

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