WASHINGTON—The uncontained left engine failure of a Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Orlando, Florida, on Aug. 27 was likely initiated by a fan blade that broke off due to metal fatigue, according to a Sept 12 investigative update by the U.S. NTSB. While the fan blade has not been retrieved, investigators were able to analyze the blade root, which remained in the hub. “The fracture surface of the missing blade showed curving crack arrest lines consistent with ...

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