Tuesday, April 17, 2018

ExpressJet, Canadair CRJ-700, N710EV: Incident occurred April 17, 2018 - Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD)

ExpressJet Airlines Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N710EV




A Delta Connection flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport on Tuesday, after the pilot reported problems with the plane’s landing gear.

Flight 5507, operated by Express Jet, originated at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and was headed for Virginia’s Richmond International Airport. At about 12:12 p.m. the pilot declared an emergency, citing problem’s with the plane’s landing gear and asked to be diverted to Dulles, according to Andrew Trull, an airport spokesman.

The plane, a Canadair regional jet CRJ-700 with 46 passengers and four crew, was met by fire and rescue personnel from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Passengers and crew members were taken via mobile lounge to the terminal and were set to be bused to Richmond, Trull said.

Original article  ➤ https://www.washingtonpost.com



A Delta plane had to make an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington Tuesday after a pilot reported landing gear problems, according to a report.

A passenger named Jason Chow posted a photo on Twitter showing the plane missing one of its tires.

The plane carrying 46 passengers along with four crew members landed safely at Dulles.

The flight was heading to Richmond from La Guardia and had to make an unexpected stop at Dulles after the crew reported a problem with one of the aircraft's wheels, ExpressJet Airlines' spokesman Jarek Beem told Washington's WTOP.

Original article can be found here ➤  http://abc7news.com

WASHINGTON — A plane had to make an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport Tuesday afternoon after the pilot reported landing gear problems.

A flight headed to Richmond from La Guardia had to make an unexpected stop at Dulles Tuesday around noon. The Delta flight operated by ExpressJet had to land after the crew reported a problem with one of the aircraft’s wheels, said ExpressJet Airlines’ spokesman Jarek Beem.

The plane landed safely at Dulles, and caused no delays to the airport’s operations. The plane was carrying 46 passengers and four crew members

The passengers deplaned through the main cabin door, and the airline transported them to Richmond by charter bus, Beem said.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused for our customers,” Beem said in an email to WTOP.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://wtop.com

Burien, King County, Washington: More airplane noise expected

Returning and increased airplane noise over Burien is likely after the the Federal Aviation Administration claims that it can ignore potential environmental rules to permit more prop-jet planes to fly low over Burien

A retired commercial pilot and former FAA inspector says such a move benefits wealthy corporations and imposes unnecessary penalties on Burien citizens.

The Burien Council on Monday (April 16) was also told by the new King County Sheriff that she is working on shoring up her police agency to gird against an increase in violent crime. Her agency by contract furnishes the members of the Burien Police Department.

Plane noise in Burien

City Attorney Lisa Marshall told the Council about the FAA’s decision-to issue what it calls a Categorical Exclusion or “CATEX” in governmental jargon. Simply stated, it means no fewer planes will turn left over Burien and probably means more planes will come over the city, perhaps at a level remembered in the past.

The categorical exclusion (CATEX) effectively means that the FAA is “not required to follow its own rules” and that the administration can implement the change without filing otherwise required permission requests under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which might force the FAA to not order all flight to turns over Burien. It had, in the past, said the turns would be allowed only by flight by flight decisions.

Now it appears the turns will be automatic for all turbo flights to the north from Sea-Tac, but Marshall told Council it “intended to cease the automatic 250 degree heading during nighttime hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., removing a few flights over the city.”

Marshall said the city listened but did not comment on the recent FAA meeting on the decision to go back to the turns over the city and the city is reviewing its options with city officials and its hired legal experts as how to proceed.

Burien did file last year a motion to the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth circuit in San Francisco seeking to overturn the FAA implementation of a 250-degree heading for turbo props whenever the with is coming from the north. All planes, large and small, take off into the wind and when that wind it from a northerly direction, then planes will take off toward the north and turboprop passenger planes will be ordered to make a hard left turn shortly after they leave the runway surface and fly west over Burien at a variety of elevations, but low enough to cause noisy distraction below.

Marshall said Burien residents last year submitted “over 700 comments were submitted containing narratives of the impacts to the citizens of the community (that) such extraordinary circumstances exist.” The city can amend its existing petition to the court within 30 days or a new petition within 60 days and she said city administrators would report to Council any new information as it develops.

Larry Cripe, president of the Quiet Skies Coalition, told the Council his organization will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Gregory Heights Elementary School, and invited all to what likely will be a packed house.

Walt Bala, a retired pilot and former FAA inspector, said he was still analyzing the FAA CATEX decision but believes “the decision was made first, and then the justification afterwards.”

“I believe their procedure benefits wealthy corporations and imposes an unnecessary penalty on our citizens, many under the flight path who are economically disadvantaged,” said Bala. “I will not rest until we have exercised every option to expose the arbitrary and capricious nature of this procedure.”

Bala said the FAA says this is done for safety and efficiency and he said he can see possible efficiency reasons, but if it’s because of safety how did they get along without the change years ago? “I don’t think there’s a safety issue here.”

Cripe said that on July 26, 2016, “behind closed doors, the acting director of the FAA said clearly at the end of an all-day meeting, ‘I want all this traffic over the city of Burien and Seahurst. They don’t have the money or the stamina to fight me.’”

Bala said that was from a former bureaucrat, behind closed doors. “That can’t be tolerated by anyone in this room. This city, this state should be outraged by that kind of behavior.”

Former Councilmember Debi Wagner, a member of the Quiet Skies Coalition, said the real meaning of the categorical exception is to begin to build the traffic for Sea-Tac Airport over the “communities that are already overburdened.” The FAA believes the added traffic at the airport “isn’t going to harm anybody” and if anybody is, “they can mitigate it.” But the noise insulation project has never been proven to be successful, she said.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://b-townblog.com

Honda HA-420 HondaJet, N10XN: Incident occurred April 15, 2018 at DeKalb–Peachtree Airport (KPDK), Atlanta, Georgia


Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta

Aircraft veered off runway during landing and came to a stop in the grass.

GF Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N10XN

Date: 15-APR-18
Time: 19:30:00Z
Regis#: N10XN
Aircraft Make: HONDA
Aircraft Model: HA 420
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: ATLANTA
State: GEORGIA

American Airlines, Airbus A330-200: Incident occurred April 16, 2018 near Charlotte Douglas International Airport (KCLT), North Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte

Flight 749: Sustained bird strike on final approach.

Date: 16-APR-18
Time: 19:32:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A332
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: AMERICAN AIRLINES
Flight Number: 749
City: CHARLOTTE
State: NORTH CAROLINA

TAME, Airbus A330-243, HC-COH: Incident occurred April 16, 2018 at Charleston International Airport (KCHS), South Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Carolina

Flight TAE550: While taxiing to refuel struck a light pole with right wing.

Date: 16-APR-18
Time: 14:30:00Z
Regis#: N/A
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A332
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: TAME AIRLINES
Flight Number: 550
City: CHARLESTON
State: SOUTH CAROLINA

Beech 95-B55, N4464S: Accident occurred April 16, 2018 at Suffolk Executive Airport (KSFQ), Virginia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N4464S

Location: Suffolk, VA
Accident Number: GAA18CA251
Date & Time: 04/16/2018, 2130 EDT
Registration:N4464S 
Aircraft: BEECH 95 B55
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot in the retractable landing gear-equipped airplane reported that during the flight, his GPS had fallen from its mount and the antenna cable became wrapped around the landing gear switch.

Prior to landing, the pilot applied aft pressure to the yoke to enter the flare and the antenna cable moved the landing gear switch to the retract position.

The airplane landed with the landing gear retracted and skidded to a stop on the runway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage longerons and stringers, and the wing-spar carry through.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/11/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/06/2007
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 26200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 530 hours (Total, this make and model), 25550 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 58 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N4464S
Model/Series: 95 B55 T42A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: TC-1878
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/12/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8042.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONTINENTAL
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-470 L
Registered Owner: MOOSEHEAD AVIATION INC.
Rated Power: 260 hp
Operator: MOOSEHEAD AVIATION INC.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSFQ, 72 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2215 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 247°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 8000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 14 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 260°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.66 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ORLANDO, FL (ISM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Suffolk, VA (SFQ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1400 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: SUFFOLK EXECUTIVE (SFQ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 70 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 25
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3750 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None

Latitude, Longitude:  36.682778, -76.599722 (est)

Southwest Airlines, Boeing 737-700, N772SW: Fatal accident occurred April 17, 2018 at Philadelphia International Airport (KPHL), Pennsylvania

Figure 1. Damage to cowl - inboard

Figure 2. Fracture surface with fatigue indications 

Figure 3. Damage to leading edge of left wing

Figure 4. Picture of window 14 with portion of engine inboard fan cowl.



The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N772SW

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Accident Number: DCA18MA142
Date & Time: 04/17/2018, 1225 EDT
Registration: N772SW
Aircraft: BOEING 737 7H4
Injuries: N/A
Flight Conducted Under: Part 121: Air Carrier - Scheduled 

On April 17, 2018, at 1103 eastern daylight time, Southwest Airlines flight 1380, a Boeing 737-700, N772SW, experienced a failure of the left CFM International CFM-56-7B engine and loss of engine inlet and cowling during climb about flight level 320. Fragments from the engine inlet and cowling struck the wing and fuselage, resulting in a rapid depressurization after the loss of one passenger window. The flight crew conducted an emergency descent and diverted into Philadelphia International Airport (KPHL), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of the 144 passengers and five crewmembers onboard, one passenger received fatal injuries and eight passengers received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The regularly scheduled domestic passenger flight was operating under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 from LaGuardia Airport (KLGA), Queens, New York, to Dallas Love Field (KDAL), Dallas, Texas.

This is an ongoing investigation. Updates to the investigation can be found at www.ntsb.gov/investigations

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BOEING
Registration: N772SW
Model/Series: 737 7H4 7H4
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Flag carrier (121)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: SWAA 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: NEW YORK, NY (LGA)
Destination: DALLAS, TX (DAL) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: N/A
Latitude, Longitude:

Accident No: DCA18MA142
Accident Type: Office of Aviation Safety
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: 4/17/2018

5/3/2018 Investigative Update

On April 17, 2018, at 1103 eastern daylight time, Southwest Airlines flight 1380, a Boeing 737-700, N772SW, experienced a failure of the left CFM International CFM-56-7B engine and loss of engine inlet and cowling during climb about flight level 320. Fragments from the engine inlet and cowling struck the wing and fuselage, resulting in a rapid depressurization after the loss of one passenger window. The flight crew conducted an emergency descent and diverted into Philadelphia Internati​onal Airport (KPHL), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of the 144 passengers and five crewmembers onboard, one passenger received fatal injuries and eight passengers received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The regularly scheduled domestic passenger flight was operating under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 from LaGuardia Airport (KLGA), Queens, New York, to Dallas Love Field (KDAL), Dallas, Texas.

The NTSB launched a go-team consisting of an investigator-in-charge from the major investigations division and specialists in powerplants, structures, survival factors and operations. Specialists in meteorology, maintenance records, air traffic control, flight recorders, and materials supported the investigation from other locations. Chairman Robert Sumwalt accompanied the team.

Parties to the investigation include the Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Airlines, GE Aviation, Boeing, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, Transport Workers Union Local 556, and UTC Aerospace Systems.

Initial examination of the airplane revealed that the majority of the inlet cowl was missing, including the entire outer barrel, the aft bulkhead, and the inner barrel forward of the containment ring. The inlet cowl containment ring was intact but exhibited numerous impact witness marks. Examination of the fan case revealed no through-hole fragment exit penetrations; however, it did exhibit a breach hole that corresponded to one of the fan blade impact marks and fan case tearing.(See figure 1.)

The No.13 fan blade had separated at the root; the dovetail remained installed in the fan disk. Examination of the No. 13 fan blade dovetail exhibited features consistent with metal fatigue initiating at the convex side near the leading edge. Two pieces of fan blade No. 13 were recovered within the engine between the fan blades and the outlet guide vanes. One piece was part of the blade airfoil root that mated with the dovetail that remained in the fan disk; it was about 12 inches spanwise and full width and weighed about 6.825 pounds. The other piece, identified as another part of the airfoil, measured about 2 inches spanwise, appeared to be full width, was twisted, and weighed about 0.650 pound. All the remaining fan blades exhibited a combination of trailing edge airfoil hard body impact damage, trailing edge tears, and missing material. Some also exhibited airfoil leading edge tip curl or distortion. After the general in-situ engine inspection was completed, the remaining fan blades were removed from the fan disk and an ultrasonic inspection was performed consistent with CFM International Service Bulletin 72-1033. No cracks were identified on the remaining blades.

The No. 13 fan blade was examined further at the NTSB Materials Laboratory; Figure 2 shows a portion of the blade in detail. Fatigue fracture features emanated from multiple origins at the convex side and were centered about 0.568 inch aft of the leading edge face of the dovetail and were located 0.610 inch outboard of the root end face. The origin area was located outboard of the dovetail contact face coating, and the visual condition of the coating appeared uniform with no evidence of spalls or disbonding. The fatigue region extended up to 0.483 inch deep through the thickness of the dovetail and was 2.232 inches long at the convex surface. Six crack arrest lines (not including the fatigue boundary) were observed within the fatigue region. The fracture surface was further examined using a scanning electron microscope, and striations consistent with low-cycle fatigue crack growth were observed.

The accident engine fan blades had accumulated more than 32,000 engine cycles since new. Maintenance records indicated the accident engine fan blades had been periodically lubricated as required per the Boeing 737-600/700/800/900 Aircraft Maintenance Manual.

According to maintenance records, the fan blades from the accident engine were last overhauled 10,712 engine cycles before the accident. At the time of the last blade overhaul (November 2012), blades were inspected using visual and fluorescent penetrant inspections. After an August 27, 2016, accident in Pensacola, Florida, in which a fan blade fractured, eddy current inspections were incorporated into the overhaul process requirements.

In the time since the fan blade overhaul, the accident engine fan blade dovetails had been lubricated 6 times. At the time each of these fan blade lubrications occurred, the the fan blade dovetail was visually inspected as required for the fan blades installed in the accident engine.

The NTSB materials group is working to estimate the number of cycles associated with fatigue crack initiation and propagation in the No. 13 fan blade and to evaluate the effectiveness of inspection methods used to detect these cracks.

On April 20, 2018, CFM International issued Service Bulletin 72-1033 applicable to CFM International CFM 56-7B-series engines recommending ultrasonic inspections of all fan blades on engines that have accumulated 20,000 engine cycles and subsequently at intervals not to exceed 3,000 engine cycles.

On April 20, 2018, the FAA issued emergency AD (EAD) 2018-09-15 based on the CFM International service bulletin. The EAD required CFM56-7B engine fleet fan blade inspections for engines with 30,000 or greater cycles. The EAD required that within 20 days of issuance that all CFM56-7B engine fan blade configurations to be ultrasonically inspected for cracks per the instructions provided in CFM International SB 72-1033, and, if any crack indications were found, the affected fan blade must be removed from service before further flight. On the same day, EASA also issued EAD 2018-0093E (superseding EASA AD 2018-0071) that required the same ultrasonic fan blade inspections to be performed.

The remainder of the accident airplane’s airframe exhibited significant impact damage to the leading edge of the left wing, left side of the fuselage, and left horizontal stabilizer. (See figure 3.) A large gouge impact mark, consistent in shape to a recovered portion of fan cowl and latching mechanism, was adjacent to the row 14 window (see figure 4; the window was entirely missing. No window, airplane structure, or engine material was found inside the cabin.

Three flight attendants were assigned to the flight, and an additional SWA employee was in a jumpseat in the cabin. During interviews, the flight attendants and the employee reported that they heard a loud sound and experienced vibration. The oxygen masks automatically deployed in the cabin. The flight attendants retrieved portable oxygen bottles and began moving through the cabin to calm passengers and assist them with their masks. As they moved toward the mid-cabin, they found the passenger in row 14 partially out of the window and attempted to pull her into the cabin. Two male passengers helped and were able to bring the passenger in.

During interviews, the flight crew stated the climbout from LaGuardia was normal with no indications of any problems; the first officer was the pilot flying and the captain was the pilot monitoring. They reported experiencing a sudden change in cabin pressure, aircraft yaw, cockpit alarms, and a “gray puff of smoke.” They donned their oxygen masks, and the first officer began a descent. Flight data recorder data showed that the left engine parameters all dropped simultaneously, vibration increased, and, within 5 seconds, the cabin altitude alert activated. The FDR also indicated that the airplane rolled left to about 40 degrees before the flight crew was able counter the roll with control inputs. The flight crew reported that the airplane exhibited handling difficulties throughout the remainder of the flight. The captain took over flying duties and the first officer began running emergency checklists. The captain requested a diversion from the air traffic controller; she first requested the nearest airport but quickly decided on Philadelphia. The controller provided vectors to the airport with no delay. The flight crew reported initial communications difficulties because of the loud sounds, distraction, and wearing masks, but, as the airplane descended, the communications improved. The captain initially was planning on a long final approach to make sure they completed all the checklists, but when they learned of the passenger injuries, she decided to shorten the approach and expedite landing.

A cockpit voice recorder (CVR) group was convened and has completed a draft transcript of the entire event. The CVR transcript will be released when the public pocket is opened.


Additional information will be released as warranted.


Southwest 1380 Pilots Steered a Well-Timed Descent.

Abrupt dive was needed to get to a breathable altitude; ‘you can’t do it slower’.

Prepared For Landing

Pilots of Southwest Flight 1380 executed an emergency descent after losing an engine and cabin pressure. 

The goal is to quickly descend to an altitude where people can breathe.



When the left engine of Southwest Flight 1380 broke apart last week, shattering a window of the aircraft and causing the Boeing 737 to lose cabin pressure, the pilots pushed the nose of the plane down and zoomed from 32,500 feet to 10,000 feet in about eight minutes.

The abrupt dive led some passengers to describe the change in altitude as a free fall. But the pilots appear to have executed a perfect emergency descent.

The reason for the steep drop was straightforward: Without enough oxygen, everyone aboard the plane could lose consciousness.

At 35,000 feet, the duration of useful consciousness—the length of time pilots can perform their duties efficiently while deprived of adequate oxygen—is no more than 60 seconds. At 30,000 feet, they can hang on for as long as three minutes. At 10,000 feet, the air is breathable.

Masks provide pilots with pressurized oxygen that could last several hours, but passengers receive only 10 to 20 minutes of oxygen with no pressure. At more than 30,000 feet, even with the air flowing, they’re in an emergency situation, so when an airplane’s cabin depressurizes, the goal is to quickly descend to an altitude where people can breathe.

“You can’t do it slower,” said Chris Manno, a former Air Force pilot who now flies 737s for American Airlines. “You have to get to a habitable altitude as soon as possible.”

Although it’s uncommon for two abnormal events to happen simultaneously, the Southwest Airlines Co. pilots were able to respond coolly to engine failure and cabin depressurization because, like all commercial pilots in the U.S., they regularly train for the malfunctions.

“Landing with a single engine is one of the main things you practice,” said Pat Anderson, director of the Eagle Flight Research Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Emergency descents are also a fundamental skill that pilots are trained to execute.

During a flight, pilots are aided by checklists that provide step-by-step instructions, with some duties performed by the pilot flying the plane and others by the nonflying pilot.

Because of the investigation into what befell Southwest 1380, neither Boeing Co. nor the airline would provide information about their checklists. But Mr. Manna, Dr. Anderson and James D. Brooks, a former Delta Air Lines engineer and senior researcher at Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, outlined the procedures.

Ordinarily if an engine is lost, they said, pilots would declare the situation to air-traffic control and be cleared to descend in what is referred to as driftdown—a gentle glide compared to an emergency descent—while disengaging the plane’s autothrottles and autopilot, shutting off fuel and other combustibles to the damaged engine and adjusting the power of the surviving engine.

“You fly at a higher power setting than if both engines are running,” Dr. Anderson said, “but the plane is controllable.”

The aircraft will yaw, or turn, in the direction of the failed engine, which the pilots will correct by adjusting the rudder—a hinged device attached to the vertical fin on the tail of an airplane that controls side-to-side motion.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, when Southwest 1380 lost its engine, the airplane banked left at about 41 degrees.

Although losing an engine is a terrifying prospect, as a safety measure, the 737 and other commercial jets are designed to fly with only one engine long enough to take off or land safely.

“When the required calculations are done to determine the maximum allowable takeoff weight of any commercial aircraft from any runway that is served, it is done assuming the loss of one engine,” Mr. Brooks said.

That precaution ensures a plane hurtling down a runway can become airborne rather than risk skidding off the pavement or clipping trees. In some ways, losing an engine while up and away is less dramatic than losing one on takeoff.

“There aren’t immediate things you can hit,” Dr. Anderson said.

But in the case of Southwest 1380, a piece of the lost engine broke a window, draining the cabin of its pressurized air and causing the death of one passenger.

Cabin depressurization has its own checklist, which includes donning oxygen masks, announcing the emergency descent to the passengers, advising air-traffic control and descending to 10,000 feet before proceeding to the nearest acceptable airport.

As pilots execute the procedure, it’s possible they may not know what led to the depressurization.

“A broken window is not going to manifest in cockpit,” Dr. Anderson said.

But the procedure is the same no matter what, and in the case of Southwest 1380, the pilots appear to have been fully in control of a chaotic situation.

“By all reports,” Mr. Brooks said, “it was a by-the-number flight crew response.”

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.wsj.com





NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawsuit against Southwest Airlines Co has been filed by a passenger who was flying on last week’s flight 1380, in which an engine exploded and one person was killed.

The lawsuit claims that since the accident, the passenger, Lilia Chavez, has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other personal injuries.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Dallas-based Southwest has been under intense scrutiny in the days since a CFM56-7B engine on one of its Boeing 737-700 jets blew apart during an April 17 flight, shattering a plane window and flinging shrapnel.

Passenger Jennifer Riordan, one of 149 people aboard, was killed. The incident has raised concerns about the safety of similar engines.

Regulators at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.

“Our focus remains on working with the NTSB to support their investigation,” Southwest said on Friday. “We can’t comment on any pending litigation. The safety and security of our employees and customers is our highest priority at all times.”

Also named in the Thursday suit are France’s Safran S.A., General Electric Aviation and CFM International, the manufacturers behind the engine that broke apart. CFM is a transatlantic joint-venture co-owned by GE and Safran.

The suit claims that Southwest and the engine makers had “placed profits and business” over passenger safety and continued to operate the engine “even when there was confirmation that an unsafe condition existed.”

A Southwest flight in August 2016 with the same type of CFM56-7B engine made an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida, after a fan blade separated and debris ripped a hole above the left wing.

After the incident, European regulators gave airlines nine months to check the engines. U.S. regulators were still were considering what to do after proposing some checks.

“Despite knowing of the dangerous condition of the subject aircraft’s engine, the defendants risked the lives of more than a hundred innocent passengers,” including Chavez, the filing reads.

A representative for GE did not return a request for comment. Safran could not immediately be reached.

The incident marked the first fatality on a U.S. commercial passenger airline since 2009. 

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.reuters.com

Jennifer Riordan 
1974 - 2018 (Age 43)


Jennifer Riordan, the vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, died Tuesday, April 17. She was 43. 

She is survived by her husband, former City of Albuquerque Chief Operations Officer Michael Riordan, and their children. 

Her family writes: 

“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380. 

“Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion, and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. 

“But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children. 

“We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends, and our community. We do ask that those who seek to express their condolences and prayers, as well as media outlets, respect our privacy at this time. Our family and friends need this time to both grieve and celebrate Jennifer’s impact on us all. In her memory — please remember to always be kind, loving, caring, and sharing.” 

Riordan’s colleagues at Wells Fargo also issued a statement: 

“The Wells Fargo family is saddened to learn of the death of our friend and colleague Jennifer Riordan... She was a well-known leader who was loved and respected. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends.” 
=========

Southwest Airlines Co. said bookings have dropped since last week’s fatal accident on the largest domestic U.S. airline.

The carrier froze all advertising in the wake of the incident on a flight from New York to Dallas, a move executives said had cost the airline bookings into May and up to $100 million in lost revenue.

Southwest and rival carriers are also facing a sharp jump in fuel prices, prompting some to raise fares. American Airlines Group Inc. on Thursday cut its full-year profit forecast because of rising costs.

Dallas-based Southwest’s shares dipped 1% on Thursday while American’s stock was 5% lower.

Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said on a post-earnings call that competition between domestic U.S. carriers remains intense, and that the drop in bookings was “predictable.” He paid tribute to passengers on Southwest Flight 1380 as well as to staff and employees at other carriers who helped respond to last week’s accident.

The airline said some marketing activities resumed last weekend, helping alleviate a portion of the pressure of passengers booking with other carriers.

Investigators are continuing their probe into the accident that involved a blown engine. The airline’s chief operating officer, Mike Van de Ven, said the airline has checked 8,500 engine fan blades over the past 10 days, with 16,500 still to go. Southwest has been canceling flights to perform engine inspections across its fleet. As of Thursday, cancellations were still running over 1% of its 4,000 daily flights.

“It’s an all-hands-on-deck activity,” he said. He added the fatigued blade that broke off of one engine on Flight 1380 shouldn’t have caused the evident damage to that plane’s fuselage, wing and stabilizer. A passenger, Jennifer Riordan, died as a result of injuries from the incident. 

Southwest expects revenue per available seat mile to decline between 1% and 3% in the second quarter. Southwest said one to two percentage points was attributable to the recent softness in bookings. The balance reflects the impact of changes to its aircraft fleet as it retires older Boeing Co. 737 jets and accelerates deliveries of the new, more fuel-efficient Max model.

Analysts said they expected Southwest’s bookings to recover quickly, citing the recovery in business at Allegiant Travel Co. after a report on 60 Minutes earlier this month questioned the safety standards of its Allegiant Air unit.

Allegiant has refuted the allegations and said Wednesday that bookings continue to improve. The low-cost specialist left its full-year profit guidance unchanged. Its shares rose 9% on Thursday.

Southwest’s weaker bookings stood in contrast to praise the carrier drew for its handling of the accident and the passenger’s death, and to otherwise strong quarterly earnings it reported on Thursday. Before the accident, analysts had expected Southwest’s unit-revenue measure to be flat to down 2% from a year earlier.

The carrier said it still expects to grow capacity by 5% this year compared with 2017 and aims to start flying in 2018 to Hawaii from the West Coast. The airline remains in talks with regulators about securing permission to fly its twin-engine Boeing 737 jets to four destinations in Hawaii.

Southwest reported forecast-beating quarterly profit of $463 million for the quarter compared with $339 million a year earlier, with per-share earnings rising to 79 cents from 55 cents a year earlier.

American, the world’s largest airline by traffic, also reported forecast-beating profits and better-than-expected revenue guidance for the second quarter.

However, American cut 50 cents from its full-year profit guidance, citing a 12% rise in jet fuel prices over the past two weeks. The new range of $5 to $6 a share still in line with the $5.75 consensus among analysts. Its shares fell more than 6%.

Chief Executive Doug Parker said American would likely pass on the higher costs to customers by raising ticket prices if fuel prices stayed high.

“The way you deal with this is on the revenue side, primarily,” he said on an investor call. “I do believe that consumers will pay more.”

American’s profit fell to $186 million in the quarter from $340 million a year earlier, with per-share earnings dipping to 39 cents from 67 cents.

Low-cost specialist Spirit Airlines Inc. last week launched a fare increase that was widely followed by rivals over the weekend. Spirit said Thursday it was slowing expansion next year because of higher fuel prices. Its shares fell more than 5%.


Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com



All Southwest Airlines senior executives were at a Dallas hotel for a day-long meeting on leadership development last week when suddenly phones blared in unison around the room: Flight 1380 was in serious trouble.

The team had a quick conference call with the airline’s operation center, then raced to headquarters nearby. From there they put an emergency-response plan into action.

The plan had gotten a lot of use in the past year: three hurricanes, plus mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, near San Antonio. All required extensive coordination and interaction with customers. But nothing prepared executives for the kick in the gut they got when passenger Jennifer Riordan died.

“We’ve never had a passenger fatality. It affects everyone,” Chief Executive Gary Kelly said in his first extensive interview since the accident.

How companies respond to crises, especially those broadcast live and spread world-wide on social media, has become a major test.

Airlines have a lot of practice: The grim reality is that accidents sometimes kill customers. Cellphone video has made aviation accidents and incidents more terrifying and troubling for the flying public. In the case of Southwest 1380, when an engine ruptured on a New York-to-Dallas trip and shrapnel broke a window, blowing the 43-year-old Ms. Riordan partly out of the airplane, we see the fear the passengers were experiencing like never before.

The photos, video and tweets also kept the airline better-informed about what was happening, and heightened the need for the airline to quickly respond.

Crisis communications experts have applauded that public response as timely and effective. Mr. Kelly quickly delivered a 40-second video apology. The airline issued multiple updates with brief facts after the April 17 event. The pilots who got the plane quickly to safe altitude, then onto the ground, were hailed as heroes.

“It is hard to argue with a leader who immediately shows contrition through honest and heartfelt condolences,” says David Castelveter, a former airline communications executive who worked five different fatal airline accidents.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation that will pick apart Southwest’s maintenance program could ultimately find fault with the airline or criticize it for not accelerating engine inspections sooner, possibly changing public perception. A conclusive report isn’t expected for at least a year.

Beyond the brief news conferences and statements, much more was happening behind the scenes.

Mr. Kelly says Southwest’s immediate focus was making sure it had resources in Philadelphia, where the flight made its emergency landing, to take care of customers. The airline sent a plane from Dallas loaded with Southwest employees trained to be part of an accident response “go team.”

Some were assigned to individual passengers to help with travel arrangements and even trauma counseling. Others were sent to aid investigators and some to relieve local airport workers pulled from regular duties by the emergency.

“Everybody has a checklist,” Mr. Kelly says.

One early item on his own checklist: Call the heads of the Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB. “The protocol is well understood. It’s just to affirm that this is how we are going to work together. We are here to support the NTSB,” Mr. Kelly says.

Four Southwest employees flew to Albuquerque, Ms. Riordan’s home, to help her family with travel arrangements. The airline also quickly pulled advertising from social media.

More than 50 of the 144 passengers onboard decided to stay in Philadelphia hotels overnight the first day. Southwest had letters slipped under their doors to remind them that people were on site that night and the next day to offer assistance, if they wanted. Some flew home the next day on other airlines; others took trains or drove. Close to 90 passengers opted for a Southwest flight to Dallas Tuesday evening just for survivors.

On the second day, passengers received personal phone calls and emails offering resources, including counseling services. Karie Lardon, Southwest’s senior manager of emergency response, directed hundreds of employees responding to the accident.

The airline sent each passenger a $5,000 check plus a $1,000 travel voucher for future Southwest flights. The amounts were decided after looking at previous payouts for far less-serious episodes. Ms. Lardon says the payments were intended to “ease the burden of an extraordinarily difficult situation” and weren’t part of an effort to dissuade passengers from suing the airline. The payments came with no strings attached.

“There’s no formula except compassion,” Ms. Lardon says. “This is something that we know we will always do and so we want to be quick.”

An initial $5,000 seems to be becoming the standard for terrifying airline accidents. After US Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River in New York, the airline delivered $5,000 checks to all passengers within a week.

Former US Airways officials say they settled on $5,000 while trying to refund every passenger’s fare for that flight and others they’d cancel as a result of the river landing. It was complicated, according to two executives involved. But $5,000 seemed to cover the highest cost, and US Airways thought everyone should get the same amount. The airline also offered cash cards for immediate needs, as well as later payments, and cleaned and restored personal belongings.

In many cases, airlines—historically tightfisted with customers and with few government requirements on compensation in the U.S.--have upped their compensation for inconveniences and misdeeds. Delta Air Lines offered thousands of dollars in retail gift cards instead of hard-to-use vouchers to get passengers to give up seats after an operational meltdown left thousands of stranded customers. Other airlines followed suit after a United passenger, David Dao, was dragged off a flight when no one would give up a seat for the airline’s miserly offer.

“Nothing kills a negative story faster than doing the right thing and making people feel treated with respect,” says John McDonald, a former airline communications executive and founder of crisis management firm Caeli Communications.

The last time Southwest broke out its accident response plan was in 2005, when a jet ran off the end of a snowy runway in Chicago and killed a 6-year-old boy in a car. Since then, the company has regularly updated the plan, based on other airline responses to emergencies and corporate lessons learned. Executives regularly hold exercises and the emergency-response team runs full-scale drills at airports.

Like most airlines, Southwest has a social-media listening team that fed real-time information to executives as the accident developed. One passenger used the plane’s Wi-Fi to broadcast the emergency live on Facebook . Others posted video and photos from inside the cabin once safely on the ground.

Laurie Barnett, Southwest’s managing director of communications and outreach and one of the authors of the response plan, says that information aided the response.

“A situation like that is sort of the classic fog,” Mr. Kelly says. “It does take a while to make sure we have the facts.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly speaks during a press conference on April 17 in Dallas.


LONDON— Southwest Airlines Company canceled a small number of fights Sunday to perform engine checks in the wake of an accident that killed one of its passengers.

Southwest, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier by traffic, said around 40 flights were scratched while the airline checks engines on some of its Boeing Company 737 planes. The cancellations represented about 1% of its planned Sunday schedule, Southwest said.

The airline’s Flight 1380 Tuesday suffered an uncontained engine failure that spewed parts into the exterior of the plane, damaged the wing, and broke a cabin window. The accident killed passenger Jennifer Riordan.

Accident investigators believe a fan blade on a CFM56-7B engine suffered cracks that led the component to fail during the flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport for Dallas Love Field. The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. The accident was similar to a nonfatal incident on a Southwest flight in 2016.

The unusual events prompted air safety regulators to issue emergency directives to check the engines that are an industry workhorse. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency Friday said airlines would have to perform ultrasound inspections within 20 days for some older engines.

U.S. accident investigators have said the blade cracks wouldn’t have been detected merely through visual inspection. Regulators are considering expanding the ultrasound checks to an additional 2,000 newer engines by August.

Southwest Airlines said its flight cancellations were linked to its own decision to step up engine checks, rather than the FAA’s directive, which came later. It said it had kept flight disruptions to a minimum “through actions such as proactive aircraft routings to cover open trips, performing inspections overnight, and utilizing spare aircraft, when available.”

The airline said the engine that failed had been inspected over the prior weekend. It had logged around 10,000 flights since its previous major overhaul.

Engine maker CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SA, Friday issued its own upgraded inspection guidance.

Southwest said the engine that failed had been inspected over the prior weekend. It had logged around 10,000 flights since its previous major overhaul.

Engines can remain on a plane while the fan blades are removed for inspection. The process can take several hours.  

The fatality was the first of a passenger from a U.S. airline incident since 2009. It was first time a Southwest passenger died in an accident.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com



U.S. and European aviation regulators concurrently imposed emergency inspection requirements for the type of jet engine that broke apart in Tuesday’s fatal Southwest Airlines Co. accident, calling for more engines to be scrutinized, on a faster timetable, than previously contemplated. 

Accident investigators believe the engine in Tuesday’s accident broke apart because a fatigue crack on the interior part of a fan blade caused the component to separate, triggering an uncontained engine failure that spewed parts into the exterior of the plane, broke a cabin window and killed passenger Jennifer Riordan.

Unnerved by such an unusual sequence of events, regulators and industry officials have taken another look at safety and maintenance standards for the affected engine, the CFM56-7B, an industry workhorse that powers many Boeing Co.737 jetliners.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it is requiring ultrasound inspection within 20 days for some older engines, the same day European air-safety regulators and the manufacturer issued their own regulations and guidelines.

The FAA requirements affect nearly 1,000 engines in the U.S. and Europe, roughly 150 of which have already been inspected, according to people familiar with the details.

The engine failure and emergency landing of Southwest Flight 1380 on Tuesday, also has sparked discussions among regulators, industry officials and maintenance companies about potential broader changes to the current system for alerts when engine-inspection requirements are revised or enhanced, people familiar with the matter said.

Under the new FAA requirements, ultrasound inspections have to be completed on several hundred older engines within three weeks. The agency is considering requiring such inspections of up to an additional 2,000 newer engines by August.

The FAA intends to issue inspection requirements within the next week or two for all of the engines included in the manufacturer’s recommendations, according to a person familiar with its plans.

The regulatory activity comes as airlines and maintenance companies are already rushing to complete inspections amid increased workloads, the result of world-wide growth in air travel.

Prompted by a similar though nonfatal incident on a Southwest flight in 2016 the FAA had proposed, as recently as August, ultrasound inspections for about 200 engines.

Separately, on Friday Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly wrote to passengers from Tuesday’s Flight 1380, offering a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher, as what he called “a tangible gesture of our heartfelt sincerity.”

The two Southwest incidents were similar in that large sections of forward structures broke away from the engines. In both cases, blade rupture didn’t cause major damage to the components that attach the engines to the wings.

The maker of the engine involved in Tuesday’s accident, CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric Co. and Safran SA ., issued its own updated inspection guidance Friday.

The FAA requirements call for ultrasound examination of designated engine fan blades that reach a specified number of trips. Airlines will have to replace blades that fail those checks.

Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told a media briefing Wednesday that blade cracks on the Southwest jet wouldn’t have been detected by visual inspections alone. Routine maintenance wouldn’t have caught the cracks either, he said.

The more-rigorous blade checks can be performed by engine makers, airline-owned repair shops or third-party service providers. Southwest said the engine that failed had been inspected over the prior weekend, though it had made around 10,000 flights since its previous major overhaul.

The requirements are complicated by the fact that in some cases, engines have fan blades of various ages that have experienced different numbers of takeoffs and landings.

It is unusual for the FAA, foreign regulators and aircraft and engine manufacturers all to issue safety directives and stepped-up inspection requirements in such a short period. However, if an issue is considered a top priority, or if regulators see an imminent hazard, the FAA can move within hours or days to impose safety mandates.

The latest Southwest accident has sparked discussions about more-effective procedures to highlight which engine-inspection changes should receive expedited regulatory action.

The prospect of additional inspections comes as aircraft repair shops are already dealing with a record amount of work. Such an inspection can take around 10 hours for each engine.

Airlines and engine makers said the extra work isn’t expected to result in cancelled flights or disruption to operations unless new problems are discovered. Under the new inspection mandate, airlines are each getting several months to inspect their entire fleets.

Aircraft engines have a life of over 20 years. The industry’s business model is similar to that of shaving razors: Manufacturers typically sell engines for little or no profit, with the bulk of their earnings generated from maintenance and repairs.

Safety checks, maintenance and repair of the global fleet of around 25,000 commercial aircraft sustains a business with revenue of over $75 billion last year. It is forecast to grow around 4% a year, according to consultant Oliver Wyman. Engine maintenance contributes more than 40% of the spending.

With the arrival of multiple new types of aircraft and engines, maintenance providers have backlogs leaving some customers waiting weeks for nonessential work, in part because of a tight labor market for experienced technicians.

“Capacity these days is very tight at most overhaul shops,” said Kevin Michaels, managing director of consultant AeroDynamic Advisory LLC.

Southwest said it contracts heavy maintenance and repair of its engines to GE, which in turn outsources some of the work to other firms.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com



The maker of the jet engine involved in a fatal accident on a Southwest Airlines Co. jet this week plans to issue new inspection guidance for carriers on Friday, a General Electric Co. spokesman said in a statement.

CFM International, a joint venture between GE and Safran SA is expected to issue recommendations for users via a service bulletin it said was being prepared before Tuesday’s accident when an engine exploded on a flight from New York to Dallas, killing one passenger.

CFM said the inspection advice would supersede previous guidance issued last year for maintaining fan blades on CFM56-7B engines, the GE spokesman said.

Southwest Airlines contracts maintenance of the engines on its 700-plus fleet of Boeing Co. 737s to GE, Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said in a video statement late Thursday.

The airline has expedited checks on engines in its fleet in the wake of Tuesday’s accident. It aims to have the checks completed within 30 days.

“CFM has about 40 people supporting the fan blade inspections under way at Southwest,” said a GE spokesman.

The new service bulletin was being developed before the accident, said GE and a number of airlines involved in the work, with inspections determined on how heavily the engines have been used.

The GE spokesman said the issuance of the bulletin hadn’t been accelerated because of the Southwest accident.

Southwest is inspecting all of the CFM56-7B engines on its jets, though it said the timing of non-routine examinations is usually dictated by the manufacturer.

“GE provides the guidelines for the maintenance, inspections and repairs over the life of the engines,” said Mr. Kelly, adding that Southwest conducts its own periodic inspections at a higher frequency than recommended by CFM.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com



JEFFERSON TWP., Pa. - The search continues in northern Berks County for pieces of a Southwest Airlines engine that blew 32,000 feet above the Bernville area.

The blast left a woman dead and forced the plane to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday. So far, more than a dozen pieces of the plane have been found in Berks County.

Many of the larger pieces have been found in wide-open fields, but one woman found a piece in her neighborhood. She said it's scary to even imagine what damage a larger piece could have caused.

"I went to turn into my driveway and there it was," said Penny Schmehl.

She said the heavy, 12-inch piece of metal looked like something off a motorcycle. She had no idea why it would be in her yard, but she later realized what it could be and called authorities.

"Never expected in a million years I would find a piece in my yard," she said.

The plane first started losing altitude from engine failure as it flew above Camp Calvary in Jefferson Township, just a few miles from Schmehl's home.

The FBI is asking everyone to report any debris sightings.

"I handed it to him and the gentleman right away said, 'Oh, yeah.' He goes, 'I think we're going to take that with us,'" she said.

After handing it over, Schmehl started to wonder: What if her granddaughter had been playing outside? What if someone was walking by? What if it crashed through her camper?

"When you start to think about it, you're like, 'Oh, my God. It could have been worse so much worse,'" said Schmehl.

But she said she can't live by the what-ifs. She'd rather just be thankful.

"I'm one of those you gotta deal with what you gotta deal with," she said.

A golfer found another piece of debris on the golf course at the Heidelberg Country Club in Lower Heidelberg Township. If you find any pieces, you're still asked to contact the local FBI office or the NTSB.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wfmz.com

A photo released Wednesday afternoon by the National Transportation Safety Board shows engine cowling that had stripped off Southwest Flight 1380 in midflight and was found by members of the public.


Early clues points to an unexpected hazard in the deadly midair engine rupture and emergency landing of Southwest Flight 1380: the engine cover.

The Southwest Airlines Co. accident that killed a passenger Tuesday sent fast-moving debris into the jet’s left wing, exterior of the plane’s body and inside the passenger cabin. Safety experts are asking whether U.S. regulators and engine makers have underestimated the role of the engine cover in the unlikely event engine parts break loose in flight.

A single, fast-rotating fan blade inside the engine broke off as the plane was cruising normally, apparently the result of a gradual weakening of the blade metal, the National Transportation Safety Board has said.

The cabin depressurized suddenly, and the plane snapped into a rapid and steep left turn that would have startled passengers, according to investigators. The pilots quickly got the wings level, but significant vibrations continued for the rest of the flight, investigators said.

The blade’s failure and the resulting vibrations appear to have damaged the cowling, or the engine’s external cover, according to Alan Diehl, a former NTSB and Pentagon air-crash investigator. Fragments of the cowling may have ended up penetrating the fuselage and causing some of the worst damage, Mr. Diehl said. “Loss of a single blade inside the engine shouldn’t have such a dramatic impact,” he said, referring to the separation of nearly the entire cowling and a nearby structure that channels air into the jet engine.

Such damage to external engine sections isn’t supposed to happen under current manufacturing and inspection systems, which have ushered in an era of record airline safety in the U.S. and globally.

Though investigators are still analyzing data from cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders, the Federal Aviation Administration late Wednesday announced it will order enhanced inspections of certain engines on Boeing Co. 737s. The FAA said that within two weeks, it intends to issue a safety directive mandating ultrasound examination of designated fan blades once they reach a specified number of trips. Airlines will have to replace blades that fail those checks.

“I’m very concerned about this particular event,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters at Wednesday’s briefing. Noting that this widely used family of Boeing 737 engine has a solid safety record, he said it was too early to determine if the accident pointed to a broader hazard for travelers.

“If we feel there is a deeper issue, we have the capability to issue urgent safety recommendations,” he said.

Historically, engine designers and maintenance crews have been on guard against internal parts shooting into the cabin or out the front of the engine. Kevlar shielding and other design elements are primarily intended to prevent such an event, called an uncontained failure.

But experts tracking the probe now are focusing on an apparent vulnerability in the cowling, which shouldn’t have been affected by the kind of internal failure that apparently occurred Tuesday.

Investigators have found numerous remnants of the cowling on the ground, including a large piece roughly 65 miles from where the plane touched down, Mr. Sumwalt said. “We are finding additional pieces” as more reports from the public emerge, he said.

Engine failures are rare but aren’t unheard of. Mr. Sumwalt said investigators see three or four incidents a year.

The version of the CFM56-7B engine involved in Tuesday’s incident has been in service since 1997 and is used in more than 6,700 airliners. European air-safety regulators said Wednesday they were assessing the situation and working with U.S. counterparts.

Ray Valeika, a former maintenance and engineering chief at Delta Air Lines Inc., said the accident suggests traditional risk-reduction approaches may need adjustment. “To have a single blade split the cowling like that is concerning,” he said.

Among the issues likely to come under question is whether Southwest fully followed nonbinding recommendations for enhanced inspections by the engine maker.

Investigators are expected to delve into, among other things, whether ultrasound inspections were conducted as recommended in June 2017 by engine maker CFM International—a joint venture between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SA . They are trying to determine whether the recommendations applied to the specific engine in the accident, according to people familiar with the details.

Such safety bulletins are nonbinding, but typically airlines follow them carefully and the FAA routinely follows up to make them mandatory.

After a 2016 incident on a Southwest jet, CFM urged operators to conduct ultrasound inspections on certain Boeing 737 engines to guard against fan blades breaking off due to metal fatigue. Later the FAA proposed such checks—with some to be completed with six months—but the final mandatory version of that directive wasn’t issued before Tuesday’s accident. One person familiar with the details said the FAA had been within weeks of making it mandatory.

Now, Southwest is ramping up voluntary engine checks. As in other probes of major engine failures, the FAA and NTSB are bound to examine Southwest’s safety culture and dissect maintenance records. Investigators have indicated the effort will be broader than determining if the specific engine’s age and inspection history put it within the nonbinding inspection parameters.

Tuesday’s accident represents the first passenger fatality in Southwest’s 51-year history. The carrier initially flew under the name Air Southwest Co.

Management has been proud of its strong safety record. When longtime Chairman Herb Kelleher retired in 2008, he told well-wishers his worst day involved a company jet that rolled off the end of a runway three years earlier killing a child inside a vehicle next to Chicago’s Midway airport.

Gary Kelly, Mr. Kelleher’s protégé and the carrier’s chief executive, now faces a similar test. He has pledged to have engine inspections completed rapidly.

Mr. Kelly said Southwest was still in the early stages of gathering information, and cooperating with regulators and the engine and plane makers. He said the aircraft involved in Tuesday’s accident was last inspected on April 15, but didn’t provide details of what maintenance work was conducted.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.wsj.com

A fan blade and engine cover, or cowling, have emerged has risk factors in Southwest Airlines’ deadly midair engine failure Tuesday. Pennsylvania Game Commission employees on Wednesday recovered a piece of the cowling in Berks County. 


The Southwest Airlines Co. accident that killed a passenger Tuesday is prompting safety experts to ask whether U.S. regulators and engine makers have underestimated an important factor in the unlikely event engine parts break loose in midair: the engine cover.

Preliminary data indicates an unexpected hazard appears to have played a role in the emergency landing of Southwest Flight 1380 after a violent engine rupture at 32,000 feet sent fast-moving debris into the jet’s left wing, exterior of the plane’s body and inside the passenger cabin.

A single fast-rotating fan blade inside the engine broke off as the plane was cruising normally, apparently as a result of gradual weakening of the blade metal, the National Transportation Safety Board has said.

The cabin depressurized suddenly, and the plane snapped into a rapid and steep uncommanded left turn that would have startled passengers, according to investigators. The pilots quickly got the wings level, but significant vibrations continued for the rest of the flight, investigators said

The blade’s failure, together with resulting vibrations, appears to have badly damaged the engine’s external cover, known as the cowling, according Alan Diehl, a former NTSB and Pentagon air-crash investigator.

Such damage to external engine sections isn’t supposed to happen under current manufacturing and inspection systems, which have ushered in an era of record airline safety in the U.S. and globally.

Depending on what investigators uncover, U.S. and foreign regulators could mandate new or more frequent inspections of engine parts.

“I’m very concerned about this particular event,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters at Wednesday’s briefing. Noting that this widely used family of Boeing Co. 737 engine has a solid safety record, he said it was too early to determine if the accident pointed to a broader hazard for travelers. “If we feel there is a deeper issue, we have the capability to issue urgent safety recommendations,” he said.

Historically, engine designers and inspectors have been on guard against fast-moving internal parts shooting into the cabin or out the front of the engine. Kevlar shielding and other design elements are primarily intended to prevent a spray of internal parts out of the engine, an event known as an uncontained failure.

But safety experts tracking the probe now are focusing on an apparent vulnerability in the cowling, which shouldn’t have been affected by the kind of internal failure that apparently occurred Tuesday.

Investigators have found numerous remnants of the cowling on the ground, including a large piece roughly 65 miles from where the plane touched down, Mr. Sumwalt said. “We are finding additional pieces” as more reports from the public emerge, he said.

Fragments of the cowling may have ended up penetrating the fuselage and causing some of the worst damage, according to Mr. Diehl. “Loss of a single blade inside the engine shouldn’t have such a dramatic impact,” he said, referring to the separation of nearly the entire cowling and a nearby structure that channels air into the jet engine.

Ray Valeika, a former maintenance and engineering chief at Delta Air Lines Inc., said the accident suggests traditional risk-reduction approaches may need adjustment. “To have a single blade split the cowling like that is concerning.” he said.

Among the issues likely to come under question is whether Southwest fully followed nonbinding recommendations for enhanced inspections by the engine maker.

Investigators are expected to delve into, among other things, whether ultrasound inspections were conducted as recommended in June 2017 by engine maker CFM International—a joint venture between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SA . They are trying to determine whether the recommendations applied to the specific engine in the accident, according to people familiar with the details.

Such safety bulletins are nonbinding, but typically airlines follow the recommendations carefully. In most instances, the Federal Aviation Administration eventually makes them mandatory.

After a 2016 incident on a Southwest jet, CFM urged operators to conduct ultrasound inspections on certain Boeing 737 engines to guard against fan blades breaking off due to metal fatigue. Later, the FAA proposed making such checks mandatory and wanted some engines to be inspected within six months.

That safety directive is pending, though one person familiar with the details said the FAA had been within weeks of making it mandatory before the accident.

Now, Southwest is ramping up voluntary engine checks. Both the FAA and NTSB, however, are bound to examine Southwest’s safety culture and dissect maintenance records to determine if the accident plane’s age and inspection history put it within the nonbinding inspection parameters.

Tuesday’s accident represents the first passenger fatality in Southwest’s 51-year history, and management has been proud of its strong safety record. When longtime Chairman Herb Kelleher retired in 2008, he told well-wishers his worst day involved a company jet that rolled off the end of a runway three years earlier killing a child inside a vehicle next to Chicago’s Midway airport.

Gary Kelly, Mr. Kelleher’s protégé and the carrier’s chief executive, now faces a similar test. He said Southwest was still in the early stages of gathering information, and cooperating with regulators and the engine and plane makers. He said the aircraft involved in Tuesday’s accident was last inspected on April 15. Southwest said it would accelerate inspections of engines, which it expected to complete in the next 30 days.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com

Southwest Airlines pilot Tammie Jo Shults, right, spoke to passengers after Flight 1380 made an emergency landing with a blown-out engine in Philadelphia. 


A passenger on a Southwest Airlines Company flight died Tuesday after an engine broke apart at more than 30,000 feet, spraying metal pieces through the fuselage and forcing the crippled jet to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

It was the first fatality from a U.S. airline accident since 2009.

Details of what happened to Flight 1380 and why metal pieces from its left engine were hurled into cabin—apparently rupturing a window behind the wing and fatally injuring a passenger seated nearby—weren’t expected until investigators examine the plane and interview the crew.

The passenger killed was Jennifer Riordan, who worked as a community-relations leader for Wells Fargo & Co. in New Mexico and was a married mother of two children, her sister-in-law, Marianne Riordan, said in an interview.

Witness reports, videos and preliminary information gathered by federal officials suggest the Boeing Company 737-700 suffered the most serious and rare type of engine problem, called an uncontained failure, in which rapidly spinning parts break off and end up penetrating the engine’s outer casing and front cover.

The accident happened at cruising altitude, according to people familiar with the sequence of events, after the jet left New York’s LaGuardia Airport for Dallas Love Field. The plane, piloted by Tammie Jo Shults, made an emergency landing at around 11:27 a.m. at Philadelphia International Airport. There were 144 passengers and five crew members on board.

Passengers described a chilling scene of chaos. Marty Martinez had just pulled out a book to read when he heard a loud boom. Within seconds, oxygen masks dropped down. Shrapnel from the burst engine slammed against a window a few rows in front of him and broke it open, he said.

“Panic just ensues,” said Mr. Martinez, the 29-year-old owner of a digital marketing agency in Dallas who was in New York for business. “Now the entire plane is shaking. Air was being sucked out of the cabin. People started screaming.”

He said a woman seated where the window burst suffered injuries and passed out. Other passengers were holding on to her body to keep her from getting sucked out the opening.

The plane tilted to the right, so that Mr. Martinez could see the ground below outside his window. It shook violently as it descended, worse than any turbulence he had ever experienced before, he said.

Diana Self, an insurance agent with Texas Farm Bureau who had been in New York with her husband on a business trip, said he tried to calm down people sitting around them who were panicking.

“The screaming was horrific,” Ms. Self said. She described seeing a passenger pulled to the window as other passengers tried to grab and hold on to her; the force ripped the woman’s top off, Ms. Self said. “It was something you wish you could unsee or experience.”

The National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t said how the passenger was killed. One theory, according to a person familiar with the matter, is that she was struck by pieces of the crippled engine that came in through the plane window.

Mr. Martinez, the digital agency owner, said that amid the mayhem he bought Wi-Fi service so he could reach out to loved ones. He struggled to keep his focus, entering his credit card information digit by digit.

When he finally logged on, he began broadcasting his video image on Facebook Live, an oxygen mask covering his face. “It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!!” he wrote.

One person familiar with the sequence of events said a fan blade in the engine separated and bored a hole in the nearby fuselage. Other high-energy parts penetrated different parts of the plane’s skin and damaged the front edge of the left wing, as some pieces were carried over the wing, this person said.

Parts of the fuselage near the damaged window had a pink tinge, suggesting a spray of blood from the passenger sitting in that seat, the person said.

The NTSB dispatched a team of about a dozen investigators led by board Chairman Robert Sumwalt to the scene.

Mr. Sumwalt said the cockpit voice and flight data recorders were expected to be downloaded, and preliminary information could be gleaned as quickly as Tuesday evening.

The accident is the first fatal one involving a U.S. airline since 50 people died in February 2009 when a commuter plane operated by Colgan Air, a partner of what was then Continental Airlines, crashed near Buffalo, N.Y.

It is the first fatality involving a Southwest plane since 2005, when one of the airline’s 737s hurtled off a runway on landing at Chicago’s Midway airport and collided with vehicles on a road, killing a 6-year-old. Southwest operates more than 700 Boeing 737 jets.

Southwest, the largest carrier of domestic U.S. airline passengers, said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” about the accident.

Tuesday’s fatality and images of the crippled plane, with part of the front engine cover ripped off and the turbine’s interior structure in plain sight, came during the safest period in commercial aviation history.

Engine makers, airlines and regulators have stepped up inspection requirements and taken other steps to reduce the frequency of midair engine failures.

Accidents involving broken passenger windows are rare. Two Delta Air Lines Inc. passengers were killed in 1996 when an engine violently ruptured on a flight during takeoff from Pensacola, Fla., sending parts into the cabin. Seven others were injured.

During Tuesday’s flight, passenger Matt Tranchin called his wife, Molly, who is pregnant with their first child.

“He said he was so sorry and that the plane was going down and he didn’t know exactly what was wrong, and that he loved me,” she said. “I could hear people in the background screaming. It was just horrible.”

As the plane neared the ground, a flight attendant said over the intercom, “Brace yourself! Brace yourself!”

The plane landed hard and at high speed. When it finally stopped, “the entire plane was just silent,” Mr. Martinez, the digital agency owner, said. Then people erupted with cheers and sobs.

“I just felt so fortunate to be alive,” Mr. Martinez said.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said airport firefighting units were dispatched when the plane landed and applied foam and extinguishing agent to the aircraft.

“It is our understanding that the passengers on board the aircraft, in addition to the flight crew and the cabin crew, did some pretty amazing things under very difficult circumstances,” he said.

Chellie Cameron, chief executive of the Philadelphia Division of Aviation, said Southwest Flight 1380 declared an alert around 11:15 a.m. and made an emergency landing in Philadelphia around 11:27.

Mr. Sumwalt told reporters the NTSB would look for potential links to an uncontained engine failure involving a Southwest jet in 2016 flying from New Orleans to Orlando, Fla. The plane was diverted to Pensacola, where it landed safely with 99 passenger and 5 crew on board; no one was injured.

The maker of the Southwest engine involved in Tuesday’s accident and the 2016 event, CFM International—a joint venture between General Electric Co and Safran SA —said it was sending a team to assist NTSB investigators.

In response to the 2016 engine rupture, the Federal Aviation Administration in August 2017 proposed enhanced inspections of certain CFM engines but hasn’t yet made the safety fix mandatory. Investigators, among other things, will seek to determine if the accident engine had enough flight hours to warrant ultrasound checks under the FAA’s standards.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com


Gary Kelly, chief executive of Southwest Airlines 


Southwest Airlines Company said it is accelerating inspections of some engines following a fatal failure on a flight between New York and Dallas.

The airline said it expects within 30 days to complete its examination of fan blades on CFM56 engines of the type that broke apart on a Boeing Company 737-700 on Tuesday. The engine failure forced an emergency landing and caused the first fatality in an accident on a U.S. airline since 2009.

Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly earlier expressed condolences on behalf of the airline to the family of the deceased passenger. He told reporters he had reached out to the family, but hadn’t yet been able to make contact.

Mr. Kelly said Southwest is still in the early stages of gathering information, and is cooperating with regulators and the makers of the engine and the plane. He said the aircraft was last inspected on April 15, but didn’t provide details on the maintenance work conducted.

“I’m not aware of any issues with the aircraft or any issues with the engine involved,” he said. The engine had 40,000 cycles and had its last major overhaul 10,000 cycles ago. A cycle is a takeoff and landing.

U.S. investigators said they have begun investigating the accident, which broke a passenger window on the aircraft after it left New York LaGuardia Airport for Dallas and forced the jet to land in Philadelphia.

“To my knowledge it is the first time we have lost a window,” said Mr. Kelly.

Southwest’s fleet is entirely made up of Boeing 737s—more than 700 in all. The airline carried almost 158 million passengers last year on domestic flights and a small but fast-growing international network to Mexico and the Caribbean.

The pioneer of the low-cost airline model that has transformed the global industry continues to deviate from rivals by, for example, not charging for checked luggage. It reports quarterly earnings on April 26.

The airline said it expects minimal disruption to operations from the engine inspections.


Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com


Jennifer Riordan
~

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One woman was killed and seven people were injured after the twin-engine 737 apparently blew an engine at 30,000 feet and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window.

The Southwest plane was headed from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard when it detoured to Philadelphia.

Who is the victim?

Annunciation Catholic School confirmed Jennifer Riordan, 43, is the victim in Tuesday's accident. Riordan was taken to the hospital, but died from her injuries.

She was the VP of Community Relations at Wells Fargo in Albuquerque. She was also a graduate of UNM and a mother of two children.

Her husband, Michael Riordan, was once the COO of the City of Albuquerque.

Southwest releases statement:

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident. The entire Southwest Airlines Family is devastated and extends its deepest heartfelt sympathy to the customers, employees, family members, and loved ones affected by this tragic event. We have activated our emergency response team and are deploying every resource to support those affected by this tragedy."

Statement from Gov. Martinez:

"The Governor is deeply saddened by the loss of Jennifer Riordan. She was an incredible woman who put her family and community first, and her loss will be felt across our state. The hearts of all New Mexicans are with the Riordan family."

Statement from Mayor Keller:

“Today, Albuquerque lost a thoughtful leader who has long been part of the fabric of our community. We are asking that everyone respects the privacy of the family at this time. This is a tremendous and tragic loss for Jennifer’s family and many others throughout our city. Her leadership and philanthropic efforts made this a better place every day and she will be terribly missed. We are holding Jennifer and her family in our thoughts and prayers."

Statement from Attorney General Hector Balderas:

"New Mexico is greatly saddened by the news of Jennifer Riordan's tragic death. She was a dear friend and I was honored to work with her on financial literacy issues for over a decade. Jennifer was exceptionally active and passionate in working to improve our community and I express our sincerest condolences to her husband and children."

Statement from University of New Mexico Hospital:

"We were notified that Jennifer Riordan was tragically killed today as a result of the emergency situation on SouthwestAir. Jennifer had previously been a member of UNM Health Sciences Center family, working in marketing. Her service continued as part of the UNM family, serving on the Alumni Association Board. Jennifer was an amazing community leader, team member, wife and mother. Her passion for our community, our students and our future was unwavering.We are committed to carrying on her work to ensure quality education and career opportunities to New Mexico’s youth. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family during this difficult time. She will be forever missed by her Lobo family."

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.koat.com


Tammie Jo Shults was the pilot who safely landed Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 after an engine, pictured right, failed mid-air.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt briefs reporters at National Airport in in Arlington, Virginia, April 17, 2018, on the Southwest Airlines plane incident in Philadelphia.