FAA to order engine inspections after Flight 1380 explosion

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Since then, the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) issued a directive requiring operators of the planes to inspect specific fan blades on the CFM56-7, an engine used in some Boeing 737-700 planes, by the end of 2019.

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.

Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, en route from NY to Dallas with 149 people on board, was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia airport on Tuesday.

Sumwalt expressed concern about such a destructive engine failure but said he would not yet draw broad conclusions about the safety of CFM56 engines or the entire fleet of Boeing 737s, the most popular airliner ever built. The last routine maintenance on the engine occurred on April 15, two days before it exploded.

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.

The incident, which left one passenger dead, is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. "It also fractured roughly halfway through, but it appears the fatigue fracture was the initiating event that later caused that secondary failure", he told reporters. She said the company had satisfied the terms of the CFM service bulletin but did not immediately answer questions about how many engines had been inspected and whether the failed engine had been inspected.

What do we know about the engines?

The jet's CFM56-7B engines were made by CFM International, jointly owned by General Electric and Safran Aircraft Engines of France.

Riordan was sitting on the left side of the plane when something in the engine apparently broke and smacked into the window.

"The clients are saying, "'That's exactly what we were afraid would happen, that this would happen in-flight, and that's why we were all so fearful of our lives,"' she said.

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Seven other passengers were injured in the accident and treated on site.

Who was the victim?

The 43-year-old mother of two was a banking executive for Wells Fargo and was in NY for business.

Family members were in "unbelievable shock" after a woman with Vermont ties died aboard a Southwest Airlines flight when the engine blew and shattered a window next to her seat.

Texas rancher Tim McGinty, of Hillsboro, said Tuesday that he and Needum struggled to pull 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan back into the plane. She suffered injuries to her head, neck and torso.

He, and other passengers at the back of the plane at the time, hit the aircraft's ceiling.

She is said to be the first person to die in an accident involving a USA airline in nine years.

Who was the pilot? Shults, who one passenger said had nerves of steel, was one of the first women to become a Navy fighter pilot.

On Wednesday, she and First Officer Darren Ellisor said in a written statement released by the airline: "As captain and first officer of the crew of five who worked to serve our customers aboard Flight 1380 yesterday, we all feel we were simply doing our jobs. Our hearts are heavy", the pair said.

The air traffic controller responded with seeming disbelief: "Um, I'm sorry, you said there was a hole and somebody went out?". For example, in 1988, an Aloha Airlines flight attendant was pulled to her death after a hole opened in the roof during a flight to Honolulu from Hilo, Hawaii.