BREAKING NEWS PG&E announces possible weekend Public Safety Power Shutoff for three counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Bear Fire: More evacuation orders reduced to warnings Full Story
SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Some Southwest flights canceled due to engine inspections

Southwest Airlines says it has canceled roughly 1 per cent of its scheduled flights as it carries out inspections pro...

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 10:21 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 10:21 AM

Southwest Airlines says it has canceled roughly 1 per cent of its scheduled flights as it carries out inspections prompted by an engine failure that led to a passenger's death last week. About 40 flights were impacted.

The affected Southwest Boeing 737 took off Tuesday morning from New York, headed for Dallas. About 20 minutes into the flight, at about 32,500 feet, a fan blade broke off the engine and shrapnel shattered a window.

Jennifer Riordan, 43, and a mother of two, was almost sucked out of the broken window and pulled back inside by fellow passengers. She died from blunt force trauma at a hospital after the plane's emergency landing in Philadelphia.

After the incident, Southwest Airlines said it was accelerating its existing engine inspection program relating to the CFM56 engine family "out of an abundance of caution" over the following 30 days.

In a statement Sunday it said that its flight cancellations had been minimal.

"We have minimized flight disruptions this past week through actions such as proactive aircraft routings to cover open trips, performing inspections overnight, and utilizing spare aircraft, when available. On Sunday, we only canceled about 40 flights due to fan blade inspections out of a planned schedule of almost 4,000 flights," the airline said.

Southwest said its cancellations were the result of a "voluntary, accelerated engine fan blade inspection program" rather than inspections ordered by US and European aviation authorities. It recommended customers check their flights' status on its website.

Inspections ordered

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) each issued an emergency airworthiness directive on Friday requiring airlines to perform an ultrasonic inspection of certain CFM56-7B engines within 20 days.

The FAA and EASA directives came on the same day that the engine manufacturer, CFM International, issued a service bulletin recommending the CFM56-7B engine be inspected more frequently.

"CFM recommends ultrasonic inspections within the next 20 days to fan blades of CFM56-7B engines with more than 30,000 cycles since new," it said. "Also, it recommends inspections by the end of August for fan blades with 20,000 cycles, and inspections to all other fan blades when they reach 20,000 cycles."

After reaching a certain age, the engines should be inspected approximately every two years, the manufacturer said.

According to CFM International, about 680 engines will be impacted by the order to inspect engines with more than 30,000 cycles within the next 20 days. More than 150 of those have already been checked by operators, it said.

Another 2,500 engines will be impacted by the recommendation to inspect fan blades with 20,000 cycles by the end of August, CFM International said. A jet engine cycle comprises an engine start, takeoff and landing, and full shut down.

"The inspection, conducted on-wing with an ultrasonic probe along the surface of the fan blade, takes about four hours per engine," the manufacturer said.

US federal safety investigators have said the naked eye cannot detect the cracks and signs of metal fatigue that doomed the engine on Southwest Flight 1380.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2633336423
Riverside576951173
San Bernardino53121908
Orange525381176
San Diego45425767
Kern31647357
Fresno27944362
Sacramento21800393
Alameda20839395
Santa Clara20648300
San Joaquin20060434
Stanislaus16425342
Contra Costa16156202
Tulare15782257
Ventura12507146
Imperial11658317
San Francisco1090199
San Mateo9664144
Monterey964570
Santa Barbara8952111
Merced8803140
Kings754477
Sonoma7225120
Marin6620114
Solano623260
Madera442465
Placer352343
San Luis Obispo345327
Butte277640
Yolo277355
Santa Cruz22838
Sutter168610
Napa165213
San Benito131411
Yuba11337
El Dorado10784
Mendocino88718
Shasta75114
Lassen7360
Glenn5683
Tehama5294
Nevada5256
Colusa5226
Lake51611
Humboldt4906
Calaveras31414
Amador28716
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Oroville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Paradise
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Chester
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 42°
Red Bluff
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 67°
Willows
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
A weak disturbance passed over northern California early this morning, but as expected, it only brought some gusty wind, a few clouds, slightly cooler weather, and no rain. Much bigger changes to our weather will occur this weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events