FAA orders emergency inspections of 352 engines following deadly Southwest incident


"Today, we only canceled about 40 flights due to fan blade inspections out of a planned schedule of nearly 4,000 flights".

A Southwest Airlines jet sits on the runway at Philadelphia International Airport after it was forced to land with an engine failure, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 17, 2018.

The mid-air engine failure shortly into a Southwest Airlines flight from NY to Dallas this week may have shaken even seasoned travelers.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered airlines to inspect certain older CFM56-7B turbofan engines. CFM, which is jointly owned by General Electric Co and France's Safran, produces the CFM56 engine in factories based both in the United States and in Europe. The order applies only to engines with more than 30,000 cycles which equates to roughly 20 years of service. Some 352 engines would be affected in the US, the FAA said.

The agency said the directive affects 352 engines on new-generation Boeing 737s, a twin-engine jet that is a workhorse of the aviation industry, used by airlines around the world.

Federal investigators said a blade that broke off in mid-flight was showing signs of metal fatigue which are microscopic cracks that can splinter open under the kind of stress placed on jetliners and their engines.

"I've been concerned about the FAA from when I was chairman in terms of how quickly they move sometimes on safety matters", Hall said. Twelve years later, the FAA issued a requirement to install equipment that pumps nitrogen into fuel tanks to reduce oxygen and as a result, potential explosions. The NSTB has however declined to comment on Friday.

A Southwest Airlines official confirmed to ABC News that the letters were sent by the airline, but would not comment on the monetary compensation.

This led to debris breaking a window and causing the death of Riordan, who was sucked partway out of the 737 and later died from the trauma.

Fatal crashes had been more common in previous decades, data from the National Transportation Safety Board show.

Southwest Airlines is giving passengers on board the disastrous flight $5,000 each and a $1,000 travel voucher.