Airline regulators order new inspections after deadly Southwest accident

Airline regulators order new inspections after deadly Southwest accident
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Federal airline regulators are planning to order inspections on jet engine blades after one such blade broke off of a plane mid-flight on Tuesday, resulting in a fatal accident that required an emergency landing. 

The nation's top flight authority, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said Wednesday it will announce a new plan in the coming two weeks for inspections on certain models of CFM56 engines, according to The Associated Press

Investigators say that a Southwest Airlines jetliner bound for Dallas, Texas on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia because of one such fan blade. 


The fan blade broke off from the plane used in Southwest Flight 1380, damaging the engine mid-flight and seriously damaging the left wing. One woman was partially sucked out of a damaged window and later died from injuries sustained in the incident. Others sustained minor injuries.  

The FAA's new directive will mandate inspections on fan blades for wear and tear after a certain number of landings and takeoffs, which will likely result in the more frequent replacement of the blades, The AP reports. 

Lawmakers this week have called for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to hold hearings on aviation safety in response to the crash. Lawmakers want to reassure passengers of airline safety after the first deadly U.S. flight incident in nearly a decade

A similar accident involving a fan blade failure in a Southwest airliner in 2016 prompted the engine's manufacturer to call for more routine inspections of blades on 737 aircraft.