Engine maker urges rapid inspections after Southwest failure

Phillips spent 20 minutes trying to save Riordan after the passenger was nearly pulled out of the plane

Phillips spent 20 minutes trying to save Riordan after the passenger was nearly pulled out of the plane

The Southwest Airlines aircraft, which was flying from NY to Dallas and had 149 passengers on board, was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

European and U.S. airline regulators have ordered mandatory inspections within 20 days of aircraft engines similar to one involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident. The engine, at about 32,500 ft, a buff blade broke off and smashed a window.

The pilot took the Dallas-bound twin-engined Boeing 737 with 149 people aboard into a steep descent as passengers using oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling said their prayers and braced for impact.

The inspections recommended within the next 20 days will affect about 680 engines globally, USA regulators said.

The manufacturer had issued two service bulletins a year ago calling for additional inspections of fan blades on the CFM56-7B engines following a similar incident in 2016 on another Southwest plane.

In the past two years, two Southwest Airlines 737s have had major engine failures that seemed to be the result of metal fatigue, according to evidence compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board. More than 150 of those have already been checked by operators, it said. An jet-engine bicycle comprises landing, take off and a motor beginning, and complete shut down.

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The Federal Aviation Administration, a regulatory authority, said Wednesday it would publish "within two weeks" a mandatory directive for the engines.

The requirement from the agency comes after the engine maker, CFM International, issued a service bulletin recommending that more engines be inspected. CFM, which is jointly owned by General Electric Co and France's Safran, produces the CFM56 engine in factories based both in the United States and in Europe.

"We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design", the directive said.

Jennifer Riordan, 43, and also a mother of 2, was nearly sucked out of their broken window and pulled back by fellow guests.

A similar accident on a Southwest flight in August 2016 forced a plane, equipped with the same engine, to make an emergency landing.

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