European agency orders expanded Boeing 737 engine checks after accidents

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European and United States airline regulators have ordered mandatory inspections within 20 days of aircraft engines similar to one involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident. On Tuesday, debris broke through one of cabin windows, and one passenger died as a result. The plane, flying from NY, landed safely in Philadelphia. Investigators found that the blade had suffered metal fatigue at the point of the break. About 20 minutes into the flight, at about 32,500 feet, a fan blade broke off the engine and shrapnel shattered a window. A federal rule that would have called for inspection of fan blades within the engines proposed a time frame of 18 months to get the job done.

A preliminary examination of the blown jet engine showed evidence of "metal fatigue", said USA transport officials.

Passengers described scenes of panic as a piece of shrapnel from the engine shattered a plane window, nearly sucking Riordan out.

Riordan graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1999 with a communications degree.

Southwest is sending a letter of apology, a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher to passengers who were on a flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia following an engine explosion.

Videos posted on social media showed passengers grabbing for oxygen masks and screaming as the plane, piloted by Tammie Jo Shults, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, prepared for the descent into Philadelphia.

The manufacturer told CNN it has been working with the FAA on the inspection procedures.

The airline expected to wrap up its inspection of the engines it was targeting in about 30 days.

Jim Hall, NTSB chairman during the Clinton administration, said all CFM engines on 737s should be inspected.

The company that manufactured the jet engine on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday after a mid-air engine failure, is calling for immediate ultrasonic inspections of fan blades on older engines of that type.

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