Investigators look at engine wear and tear in jet tragedy

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Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the family of the victim was the airline's primary concern.

Jennifer Riordan, a well-known leader in New Mexico and big-hearted altruist, died Tuesday when a Southwest Airlines jet engine failed midair and its debris blew up a window, CNN affiliate KOAT reported. "Although the number of fan blades requiring the inspection remains the same, the number of engines involved with this inspection has significantly increased", it said.

Southwest made the comments a year ago after USA regulators proposed making the inspections mandatory.

The plane descended precipitously, Johnson said, but the pilot regained control and informed passengers the flight was headed to Philadelphia. The NTSB added that it continues to investigate the engine failure. Shults's mother-in-law and friends described her as a pioneer in the aviation field, a woman who broke barriers to pursue her goals. She later died due to injuries.

Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday after suffering a catastrophic engine failure and cabin decompression.

Passenger Andrew Needum, a Texas firefighter, said Thursday that he was helping his family and other passengers with their oxygen masks when he heard a commotion behind him.


The injured woman's arms and body were sucked toward the opening in the plane, Martinez recalled in a phone interview.

It was one of these pieces of shrapnel which killed Jennifer Riordan, 43, who was almost sucked out of the plane after the window next to her smashed from the impact.

One of the passengers that attempted to revive the unconscious mother of two was retired nurse Peggy Phillips. "I feel for her family, I feel for her two kids, her husband, the community she lived in".

"Those people. I'm sorry that they'll probably have images in their head that they'll never forget", she said, "but Jennifer would be the first to say your job is to keep living, and live well".

"If you can possibly imagine going through the window of an airplane at about 600 miles per hour and hitting either the fuselage or the wing with your body, with your face, then I think I can probably tell you there was significant trauma", Phillips told ABC.

Riordan was sitting near the window and was pulled partially through. The blade was separated at the point where it would come into the hub and there was evidence of metal fatigue.


The engine in question is a CFM56-7B turbofan, the product of a 40-year-old joint venture between GE Aviation and France's Safran Aircraft Engines called CFM International.

Federal investigators said Wednesday an engine crack caused a deadly blow-out on a Southwest Airlines jet. It said that any fan blades that failed the inspection would have to be replaced. There was also a covering over the engine.

Last year, the FAA estimated that some 220 of these engines would require testing, having carried out a certain number of flights.

As a precaution, Southwest said it will inspect similar engines in its fleet over the next 30 days. United Airlines said Wednesday it has begun inspecting some of its planes.

American Airlines has about 300 planes with that type of engine, and Delta Air Lines has about 185. It was the first death in a US commercial aviation accident since 2009.

But National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that it was too early to say whether there was a widespread issue with the Boeing 737-700.


Just look at the left engine of Southwest Flight 1380, and it's obvious that something bad befell that machine.

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