European agency orders expanded Boeing 737 engine checks after accidents

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

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

In this April 17, 2018 photo provided by Marty Martinez, Martinez, left, appears with other passengers after a jet engine blew out on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 plane he was flying in from NY to Dallas, resulting in the death of a woman who was almost sucked from a window during the flight with 149 people aboard.

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

Inspectors now believe that the CFM56-7B jet engine failure occurred when one of the engine's fan blades broke off and came loose.

The FAA says that the engine manufacturer "estimates today's corrective action affects 352 engines in the USA and 681 engines worldwide".

The European Aviation Safety Agency is reportedly adopting similar requirements.

The FAA said, "The unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same design".

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.

The European agency had given airlines nine months to check engines, while USA regulators still were considering what to do. Engines that contain fan blades that have completed more than 30,000 "cycles", or have been in service for around 20 years, must be inspected in the next 20 days, according to EASA.

That order will affect about 680 engines globally, including about 350 in the United States, the FAA said.

There were calls for inspections of the engines at the time, but regulators did not publish a directive. The airline did, however, acknowledge the FAA's directive on Twitter.

The CFM 56-7B engines are on about 1,800 "new generation" 737s in service in the USA and about 6,400 worldwide.

Approximately 14,000 CFM56-7B engines are in operation.

"From her waist above, she was outside of the plane", said passenger Eric Zilbert.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane. The NSTB has however declined to comment on Friday.

The airline confirmed news reports from passengers it had sent the checks along with $1,000 travel vouchers.

No blame has been assigned to the airline for the engine explosion which sent a piece of shrapnel flying through the window next to Riordan.

Eric Zilbert of Davis, California, said he did not have a problem with the letter.

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