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Boeing 737NG Fan Cowl Redesign Recommended by NTSB

Credit: NTSB
Airlines would have to retrofit thousands of in-service Boeing 737NG narrowbodies with redesigned engine cowls if the FAA enforces an NTSB recommendation stemming from an engine failure on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 in April 2018.
 
The safety board on Nov. 19 announced its probable cause finding into the accident, tracing its origin to a “low-cycle” fatigue crack of one of the fan blades in the left CFM56-7B engine of the Southwest 737-700. The separation of the fan blade at its root—called a fan-blade-out (FBO) event—sent blade fragments into the engine fan case and compromised the outer fan cowl structure. Fragments of the fan cowl, including a latch keeper component, struck the left side of the fuselage near the cabin window at Row 14, dislodging the window and causing the rapid depressurization of the cabin.
 
The passenger in seat 14A was killed in the chain of events that occurred on the flight on April 17, 2018. It was the first fatality on a U.S. passenger airline since the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in February 2009. There were 144 total passengers and five crew on the scheduled Southwest flight from New York LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Love Field. Southwest Capt. Tammie Jo Shults and First Officer Darren Ellisor performed an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport after the engine failed at 32,600 ft. 
 
According to Aviation Week’s Fleet Discovery, 36% of in-service Boeing 737NG in the world are in Asia-Pacific
 
 
This is an abbreviated version of an article by Bill Carey that first appeared in Aviation Week & Space Technology . Read details about NTSB's findings and recommendation in the full article. Login or subscribe to access the full article here.
 

 

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To find out about obtaining additional data – including the most comprehensive details on organizations, fleets, personnel and programs – click here or call +1.561.279.4661.