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NTSB Issues Safety Recommendations Following Deadly Southwest Airlines Incident in 2018

Safety recommendations today following an incident involving a Southwest Airline plane in April of 2018.

The National Transportation Safety Board said that a fractured fan blade impacted the fan case on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, causing the plane to lose a window and the cabin to rapidly depressurized.

The plane, which left New York’s LaGuardia Airport on April 17, 2018 had to make a emergency landing in Philadelphia.  Jennifer Riordan was partly blown out the window of the plane and died from her injuries.  Eight other passengers were also injured.

The final report on the accident, which can be found at  https://go.usa.gov/xp9kv , said that the crack on the fan blade that caused the accident was present for at least six years prior to the accident.

“This accident demonstrates that a fan blade can fail and release differently than that observed during engine certification testing and accounted for in airframe structural analyses,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “It is important to go beyond routine examination of fan blades; the structural integrity of the engine nacelle components for various airframe and engine combinations needs to be ensured.”

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