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Checks ordered on engine type in jet accident

In August 2016 a Southwest flight made a safe emergency landing in Florida after a fan blade separated from the same type of engine and debris ripped a hole above the left wing.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the inspection of nearly 700 Boeing 737 engines across the globe over the next 20 days.

Last year, the agency estimated that an order would cover 220 engines on USA airlines, and each Boeing 737 has two CFM engines. American Airlines said it started additional inspections of its 737s before Tuesday's accident, while the directive was being debated.

Following an engine malfunction that sent parts flying through a plane window, killing a passenger this week, many Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) planes with similar engines will be inspected in order to prevent another such tragedy.

Southwest Airlines sought more time past year to inspect jet-engine fan blades like the one that snapped off during one of its flights Tuesday in an accident that left a passenger dead. Federal safety investigators have said the naked eye can not detect the cracks and signs of metal fatigue that doomed the engine on Southwest Flight 1380. Airlines including Southwest say they have begun inspections anyway.




The Southwest Airlines aircraft, which was flying from NY to Dallas and had 149 passengers on board, was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

A passenger was partially sucked out of the aircraft as hull damage caused decompression. She died from blunt force trauma at a hospital.

Each inspection of the engines, which power Boeing 737 aircraft, takes about four hours, according to CFM International, a joint venture between America's GE Aviation and France's Safran Aircraft Engines.

During the public-comment period, which closed in October, Southwest and several other carriers raised objections. After reaching a certain age, the engines should be inspected approximately every two years, the manufacturer said. Then, on Friday, the manufacturer went further than the FAA, recommending inspections by the end of August of all engines that have gone through at least 20,000 flights. "They didn't get the inspections done, and when the FAA was going to put out (an order) they all objected".

The CFM56 engine is used on about 1,800 Boeing 737 planes in service in the United States and about 6,400 worldwide.

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