Southwest cancels flights due to engine inspections

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       Hero pilot lands plane after engine blows

Southwest Airlines confirmed it has sent US$5,000 (S$6,580) cheques to passengers aboard a flight that made an emergency landing last week after an engine failed, killing a passenger.

In its service bulletin, CFM recommended that CFM5607B engines used to power 737 Next Generation planes be subject to an ultrasonic inspection of the engine's fan blades within the next 20 days for engines with more than 30,000 takeoff-and-landing cycles.

According to the FAA, the checks will involve 352 engines on commercial aircraft in the USA, and 681 worldwide. More than 150 already have been inspected the company said.

According to FlightAware.com, 488 Southwest flights were being delayed Sunday, though it was not clear how many of those delays were due to engine inspections. "The 40 cancellations today are due to aircraft being out of service for our accelerated engine fan blade engine inspection program, which we announced on Tuesday night", Southwest said in their statement. A cycle includes one take-off and landing.

The FAA in August 2017 drafted an order giving airline up to 18 months to carry out checks, but it had not finalised the measure by the time of Tuesday's fatal second accident.

CFM, the GE Aviation/Safran Aircraft Engines joint venture, said there are roughly 14,000 CFM56-7B engines in service.

(Update) Slain Palestine lecturer to be buried in Gaza
Batsh was a lecturer at Universiti Kuala Lumpur , specialising in power engineering, according to the university. He had lived there with his family for the past eight years and was an imam at a local mosque.

"It happens that there are disagreements about the right way to go in some cases, and this was one of them", the person familiar with the discussions said.

Shrapnel from the engine smashed the window, which caused rapid decompression in the cabin, and 43-year-old mother-of-two Jennifer Riordan was partially sucked out of the cabin before other passengers pulled her back on board. But the agency never issued a final decision.

The FAA and NTSB have different roles.

Several major airline officials said the order will primarily impact airlines with higher utilisation of aircraft covering shorter routes like Southwest.

Initial investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board found evidence of fatigue cracking at the hub of the fan in an area that could not be detected by an external visual inspection.

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