Maker of jet engine in fatal accident wants more inspections

Southwest airplane sitting on the runway of the Philadelphia airport shows damage to the left engine

U.S. and European airline regulators have ordered emergency inspections within 20 days of almost 700 aircraft engines similar to the one involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines blowout earlier this week, citing risks of a similar mishap.

"Fan blade failure due to cracking... could result in an engine in-flight shutdown, uncontained release of debris, [and] possible airplane decompression", the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement announcing the inspections.

Airlines told the FAA previous year that because fan blades may have been repaired and moved to other engines, the order would affect far more than 220 CFM56-7Bs, which are made by a partnership of France's Safran SA and General Electric Co.

Engines in 681 aircraft will be checked worldwide.

A Southwest Airlines jet sits on the runway at Philadelphia International Airport after it was forced to land with an engine failure, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 17, 2018.

The CFM56-7B engine first entered service in 1997 on the Boeing 737 and has logged more than 350 million flight hours.

Fan blades that have undergone a certain number of flights will be given ultrasonic tests, they added.

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In March, an Arik flight from Lagos to Accra, Ghana, made an emergency landing after the pilot detected a smoke in the cabin. It requested that they use ultrasound scans to check the engines' fans. The developer and manufacturer of the engine is CFM International, which is owned by General Electric and Safran Aircraft Engines.

Friends at Shults' church in Boerne, Texas, about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, said Wednesday they were not surprised after listening to the recording and reading media reports about her actions. The engine that blew apart on Tuesday's Southwest flight would have been affected, since the company said it had 40,000 cycles. One person was killed and 7 others injured.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board got a preliminary look at the engine that failed.

United Continental Holdings (UAL.N) said that it had begun inspections earlier after a recommendation from CFM.

On the Sunday before the accident, a visual inspection of the engine had found no issues with it. Sumwalt said the cracks in the engine blade were "more than likely not detectable from looking from the outside", reported the Times. However, the airline has declined to say whether the engine that exploded on Tuesday had been inspected.

"When Chase Field was here, there was so much more downtown", Beeville businessman Mark Parsons said. "Also, it recommends inspections by the end of August for fan blades with 20,000 cycles, and inspections to all other fan blades when they reach 20,000 cycles".

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