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Hidden Crack in Southwest Jet Engine at Center of NTSB Investigation


"Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight No. 1380", her family said in a statement.

But Riordan, a 43-year-old executive at Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, died from blunt impact trauma of the head, neck and torso, a spokesman for the Philadephia Department of Public Health said.

Passengers aboard a Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday struggled to pull a woman back into the plane after she was sucked into a hole left by a shattered window, witnesses said.

Pressure for the FAA to act grew after an engine on a Southwest plane blew apart on Tuesday, showering the aircraft with debris and shattering a window.

"We all feel we were simply doing our jobs".

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.

Prior to Tuesday, the most recent fatal accident on a USA passenger airline came in February 2009 near Buffalo, New York.

The pilots of the twin-engine Boeing 737 bound from NY to Dallas with 149 people aboard made an abrupt turn toward Philadelphia and began a rapid descent after the engine blew.

"To be able to extrapolate that to the entire fleet, I'm not willing to do that right now".

In response, 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.




It was the second time this kind of engine had failed on a Southwest jet in the past two years, prompting airlines around the world to step up inspections. That led manufacturer CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and France's Safran, to recommend last June that airlines conduct the inspections of fan blades on many Boeing 737s. Pieces of the plane were found in rural Pennsylvania by investigators who tracked them on radar. Engines with fewer cycles would have had to be inspected within 18 months.

The FAA followed with a proposed rule in August calling for inspection of certain fan blades on CFM56 turbofan engines.

There was a loud boom, and the plane started shaking violently.

A well-known Albuquerque woman was killed in the incident.

Many social media users defended Martinez's use of Facebook Live, but some said he violated passengers' privacy and sought cheap fame.

"All I could think about was how can I can I get a message out to loved ones", Martinez said on CNN. During the incident, he logged on to the in-flight Wi-Fi to send messages to his family.

Matt Tranchin, who was heading home to Dallas, began texting his eight-months-pregnant wife and his parents that he loved them and telling them things he wanted his unborn son to know if the plane crashed and he didn't make it. At the beginning of each flight, the cabin crew will remind passengers what to do if there is decompression in the plane's cabin.

"The accelerated inspections are being performed out of an abundance of caution and are expected to be completed over the next 30 days", according to a statement on Southwest's website.

Based on reports by passengers on the Southwest flight, the plane's engine failure happened at an altitude of around 31,000 feet. NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt, speaking to reporters at National Airport in Arlington, Va., late Tuesday, called on the industry to strengthen inspection mechanisms for the engines.

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