NTSB | Reuters
U.S. NTSB investigators are on scene examining damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane in this image released from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 17, 2018.
The type of engine that exploded on a Southwest Airlines plane this week will be subject to more stringent tests within two weeks, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday.
The FAA will issue an “airworthiness directive” about some CFM56-7B engines. The engine type experienced an uncontained failure on a Southwest flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday morning. One of the engines on Southwest Flight 1380 lost a fan blade, federal transportation safety investigators said Tuesday. One passenger was killed in the incident, in which shrapnel from the Boeing 737-700 aircraft punctured the fuselage.
The engines are among the most commonly used around the world. The FAA had increased its scrutiny of the engines last year, proposing more testing, after a Southwest flight in 2016 experienced engine failure similar to the incident on Tuesday.
The federal government will require ultrasonic testing of engine fan blades, when they’ve been flown a certain number of times, the FAA said. The National Transportation Safety Board said a fan blade was missing from the engine involved in Tuesday’s incident.
“Any blades that fail the inspection will have to be replaced,” it said in a statement.