Dem calls for aviation safety hearing after death on Southwest flight

Dem calls for aviation safety hearing after death on Southwest flight
© Getty Images

District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonBipartisan group asks DHS, ICE to halt deportations of Iraqi nationals Lawmakers introduce bill to create women's history Smithsonian Dem lawmakers unveil Journalist Protection Act amid Trump attacks on media 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 ShusterEx-GOP congressman heads to investment bank Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world MORE (R-Pa.), ranking member Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioCongress: Pass legislation that invests in America's water future Not-So-Fat Cats: Over 25 million lower income workers will be paying the Wall Street Tax Airports push lawmakers to raise passenger fees MORE (D-Ore.), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority LoBiondo launches consulting firm Live coverage: House elects new Speaker as Dems take charge MORE (R-N.J.) and ranking member Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenBooker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Senate panel to hold hearing on airline safety after Boeing crashes FAA comes under new scrutiny over Boeing decision MORE (D-Wash.), citing Tuesday’s Southwest Airlines emergency landing and a “60 Minutes” story about mechanical problems on low-budget carrier Allegiant.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.