Southwest airplane with 149 aboard makes emergency landing at Philadelphia Airport
A Monitor Report 18 Apr, 2018 | 2366 Views|-+
Philadelphia: One passenger died and seven others were injured Tuesday morning when a Southwest Airlines plane flying from New York to Dallas apparently blew an engine in midair, breaking a window, sending smoke into the cabin, and forcing an emergency landing in Philadelphia. An investigation into the cause will likely focus on a fan blade that broke off from one of the Boeing 737’s two engines, said Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, in a briefing here Tuesday night. The blade, one of 24 that bring air into the craft’s turbo fan engine, broke near where it connected to the engine’s hub, he said. There was evidence of metal fatigue near the break, Sumwalt said. Less than a year ago, both the Federal Aviation Administration and the engine’s manufacturer drew attention to problems with metal fatigue on the fan blades in the CFM56 engine series, which this plane has, after a similar incident in 2016, also a Southwest plane. The FAA proposed a directive that planes with extensive miles on their engines should subject the fan blades on those engines to a specific test designed to detect flaws in metal. Whether this plane’s engines should have been subjected to those tests, and whether Southwest was performing them, will be investigated, Sumwalt said. “We want to see if this part might have been subject to that airworthiness directive,” he said. Officials did not immediately know when the engines were last inspected, he added. Details of the engine failure Tuesday portray a routine morning flight gone awry. The plane took off from LaGuardia Airport bound for Love Field in Dallas at 10:43 a.m., Sumwalt said. The flight was carrying five crew members and 144 passengers, some of whom described hearing a loud boom in mid-flight before a window blew out and the smoke-filled plane suddenly dropped. The failure happened at 32,500 feet, at about 11:15, Sumwalt said.