Dem calls for aviation safety hearing after death on Southwest flight

Dem calls for aviation safety hearing after death on Southwest flight
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District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Steady Kavanaugh proves to be a tough target for Democrats Dems vow rules overhaul to empower members if House flips Overnight Health Care: House votes to repeal medical device tax | Fierce ObamaCare critic joins administration | GOP senators target DC individual mandate MORE (D) is pressing House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee lawmakers to hold an aviation safety hearing following the Tuesday fatality on a Southwest Airlines flight.

Norton requested the hearing in a letter to Committee Chairman Bill ShusterWilliam (Bill) Franklin ShusterHouse and Senate negotiators reach agreement on water infrastructure bill Congress, states and cities are not doing enough today to fix our infrastructure It’s high time for a discussion on infrastructure MORE (R-Pa.), ranking member Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioCongress prepares to punt biggest political battles until after midterms House and Senate negotiators reach agreement on water infrastructure bill Progressives poised to shape agenda if Dems take back House MORE (D-Ore.), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoJordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker On The Money: Broad coalition unites against Trump tariffs | Senate confirms new IRS chief | Median household income rose for third straight year in 2017 | Jamie Dimon's brief battle with Trump Blue-state Republicans say they will vote against 'tax cuts 2.0' if it extends SALT cap MORE (R-N.J.) and ranking member Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenTransportation Department watchdog to examine airplane cabin evacuation standards Dems win nail-biter in charity congressional soccer game Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' MORE (D-Wash.), citing Tuesday’s Southwest Airlines emergency landing and a “60 Minutes” story about mechanical problems on low-budget carrier Allegiant.

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“As we prepare to consider legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, I believe we should ensure that aviation safety remains at the forefront of our efforts,” Norton wrote, referring to a recently unveiled five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Holding a hearing on this issue would allow us to gather valuable information and demonstrate our commitment to ensuring the safety of the millions of Americans who rely on our nation’s airlines each year,” she wrote.

Norton sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the aviation subcommittee.

The letter comes after a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Dallas Love Field Airport was forced to make an emergency landing after a piece of the engine broke off, shattered a window and partly pulled a female passenger out of the aircraft.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday that the blown engine had “metal fatigue.”

“Our preliminary examination of this was that there’s evidence of metal fatigue where the blade separated,” Sumwalt said at a press conference in Philadelphia. 

The safety agency is conducting an investigation into the incident and will hold another news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The incident occurred the same day an ExpressJet flight functioning as a Delta connection made an emergency landing at Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport due to an issue with the aircraft’s wheels. No one was injured on that flight.