A Southwest Airlines flight which was travelling from New York to Dallas suffered a fatal mid-air explosion on Tuesday, has now been linked with a similar incidents in 2016 wherein a fatal mid-air engine explosion punctured a passenger jet window.
In recent incident, a female passenger died after sucking from the cabin of a Southwest Airlines flight. According to investigators, the cause behind the two years ago incident was a fault with the engine’s fan blades.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, a Boeing 737 was carrying 149 people. It forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia airport on Tuesday following a fault with one of its CFM56-7B engines.
According to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an initial investigation found evidence of metal fatigue after a fan blade had broken off.
In a similar incident in 2016 a Southwest flight also landed safely in Florida. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said that fan blades have undergone a certain number of flights will have given ultrasonic tests.
It further added that the airworthiness directive would issue within the next two weeks. It requires inspections of a large number of CFM56-7B engines.
NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt reported that a fan blade had broken off due to metal fatigue. Moreover, a second fracture also had recorded about halfway along its length.
Mr Sumwalt further said a casing on the engine meant to contain any parts which come loose. However, due to the speed, the metal was capable to penetrate the shell.
Debris shredded a hole more than a foot long in the fuselage of the jet above the left wing. It caused cabin decompression. An investigation also found signs of metal fatigue, NTSB said.
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