Southwest plane explosion: Survivors could use 'fright' for lawsuit claim


Southwest plane explosion: Survivors could use 'fright' for lawsuit claim

Andrew Cummings
April 21, 2018

Sullenberger called the higher speed a shrewd choice because doing a controllability check testing whether damage to the wing and fuselage had diminished their controls at a higher altitude would have taken longer to land.

"We value you as our customer and hope you will allow us another opportunity to restore your confidence in Southwest as the airline you can count on for your travel needs", the letter said, according to recipient Kamau Siwatu.

Her mother-in-law, Virginia Shults, told The Washington Post that as soon as she heard the pilot's voice on the radio transmission online, she said "that is Tammy Jo". "The engine family has accumulated more than 350 million flight hours as one of the most reliable and popular jet engines in airline history". CFM International also says it has sent a team of technical representatives to assist the NTSB in its investigation.

Shultz calmly reported an engine fire to air-traffic control, but Sullenberger said other priorities would have demanded attention from the pilots.

Southwest didn't immediately respond Wednesday to a question about the engine model in the 2016 incident. We joined our company today in focused work and interviews with investigators.


"I'm very concerned about this particular event", National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Technical experts from 737-maker Boeing and engine-maker CFM International, a venture of General Electric and France's Safran, are gathering clues about what caused the accident.

Metal fatigue is a weakening of metal from repeated use and involves microscopic cracks.

Passengers described scenes of panic as a piece of shrapnel from the engine shattered a window, nearly sucking Ms Riordan out. Those who accept the money did not appear to be precluded from taking legal action in the future or pursuing a further financial settlement. Because the company couldn't be sure how worn the individual blades were in each engine, the order would likely require the ultrasonic inspection on a total of 841 of its engines.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it will issue a directive in the next two weeks to require ultrasonic inspections of CFM56-7B engines after reaching a certain number of takeoffs.


The engine is one of the most common in the world, used on more than 8,000 Boeing 737 aircraft.

The pilots then might have concentrated on dealing with the depressurization that resulted from shrapnel from the engine, confirming that oxygen masks deployed, Sullenberger said.

United CEO Oscar Munoz said inspections had begun recently and would occur throughout the course of the year.

"There did not seem to be an urgency" at the FAA to finalise the inspections, he said. The European Aviation Safety Agency announced in March that it is considering a similar rule based on the report from the September 2016 Southwest flight incident.

Safety checks in Europe have also been contentious. The FAA declined comment. Investigators warn that it is too early to say whether the two problems are linked. They were still tracking down debris from the engine.


The blades, which sweep air backwards to help provide thrust, can be changed and repaired independently of the rest of the engine, meaning airlines that do not keep tabs have to examine more engines than anticipated, which adds time and cost.

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