The inflight failure of a CFM56-7B turbofan engine on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 that led to the death of a passenger on April 17 punctuated the timeliness of recent directives requiring ultrasonic inspection of titanium alloy fan blades used in the engine type. NTSB investigators responding to the scene of the 737’s emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport “immediately focused” on the fact that one of the 24 fan blades was missing from the intake ...

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