Posted by Sade Williams
Aero-engine maker CFM International said airlines are “aggressively responding” to safety regulator directives to inspect CFM56-7B engines, the type that exploded on a Southwest Airlines aircraft last week, causing one fatality.
Last Friday’s emergency airworthiness directives from the US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency require ultrasonic inspections on CFM56-7B engine blades with more than 30,000 cycles since new. A cycle comprises start up, take-off, landing and shut down.
CFM said more than 60 percent of the 680 engines worldwide that are subject to the directives have been inspected. The remaining inspections must be completed by May 10.
The company is also recommending that operators inspect fan blades with more than 20,000 cycles by the end of August, and inspections of all other fan blades should be carried out when they reach 20,000 cycles.
A report on Airwisenews quoted CFM as saying that there are around 14,000 CFM56-7B engines in operation around the world.
Southwest Airlines flight WN1380, a Boeing 737-700 carrying 143 passengers and five crew, was on a flight from New York’s La Guardia airport to Dallas Love Field when the left engine exploded, sending parts into the aircraft, causing cabin depressurisation.
One passenger died after she was partially sucked out of the cabin as it depressurised. Passengers were able to grab the woman and pull her back into the cabin, but she died of her injuries.