Posted: April 24, 2018
By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Southwest Airlines said it canceled about 40 flights Sunday as it inspects engine fan blades in the wake of an engine failure last week that led to one passenger’s death.
That’s about 1 percent of Dallas-based Southwest’s daily schedule of nearly 4,000 flights. The airline encouraged passengers to check their flight status. “We anticipate minimal delays or cancellations each day due to the inspections,” Southwest said in a written statement.
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has the same type of engines on the Boeing 737s in its fleet and is also adding ultrasonic inspections of the engines, but said it doesn’t expect any operational impact to customers.
Both airlines last week, in advance of the Federal Aviation Administration’s official release of an emergency airworthiness directive, said they would accelerate the inspections.
The FAA on Friday issued the anticipated directive requiring airlines to inspect fan blades on certain engines within 20 days. The directive draws from information gathered in the investigation of Southwest’s engine failure last Tuesday. The FAA said the inspection requirement is estimated to affect 352 engines in the United States and 681 engines worldwide.
The CFM56-7B engine that blew on the Southwest flight showed evidence of “metal fatigue,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board. That engine model is on all of Southwest’s 737-700s and 737-800s, which make up the vast majority of Southwest’s fleet.
National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
Nearly 2,000 mourners paid tribute to the New Mexico woman killed during last week’s Southwest Airlines engine explosion, KRQE reported.
Jennifer Riordan, 43, of Albuquerque was killed while flying from New York to Dallas on Tuesday. The plane’s engine exploded, shattering her window.
Riordan, 43, was remembered for her compassion and ““boundless energy” and as someone who gave “epic and heartfelt” hugs, The Albuquerque Journal reported.
Riordan’s husband, Michael Riordan, broke the somber mood with a joke, telling the gathering that his wife would have preferred an upbeat service.
"Why's everybody so quiet? This is a celebration? Jennifer was 10 minutes late to our wedding, so I'm paying her back a little bit," Michael Riordan said.
Jennifer Riordan was vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo in New Mexico. She was known for her volunteer work for charity and nonprofit organizations, the Journal reported.
“We appreciate the outpouring of support from the community. It truly touches our hearts," the Riordan family wrote in a statement. "We know there are many in the community who want to celebrate Jennifer."
The service included a video tribute, music performance and a poetry reading, KRQE reported.
"In life, she really brought everyone together and always had a smile on her face, always had something to say and with her passing, I think it's going to bring a ton of people together," Ivan Wiener told KRQE.
"Everyone is here tonight because Jennifer helped to fill our hearts with love and I just want you to know (when leaving) here tonight, you filled her heart with love too," Michael Riordan said.
Lt. Gov. John Sanchez presented the family with the state flag recently flown at the roundhouse in memory of Jennifer Riordan, KRQE reported.
At least three passengers who were aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 received a $5,000 check in a letter from the airline, CNN reported Friday.
One passenger, 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died after debris from the plane’s engine blew out a window. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday, where Riordan died at a hospital.
In a letter to passengers, Southwest expressed "sincere apologies" for the incident and included the check, Kamau Siwatu, who was aboard the flight, told CNN.
"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," Siwatu's letter said. "In this spirit, we are sending you a check in the amount of $5,000 to cover any of your immediate financial needs."
The letter also promised passengers a $1,000 travel voucher, CNN reported.
It’s a ritual most passengers on an airline flight either ignore or take for granted. Pre-flight demonstrations by attendants show the proper way to cover their noses and mouths with drop-down masks in the event the cabin loses pressure.
Southwest Airlines’ attendants are particularly adept at making the presentations humorous so passengers pay attention, but the safety warnings are clear.
That came into play Tuesday during the terrifying moments when Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 had to make an emergency landing. Viral images and videos of the scene on board the plane revealed panicking passengers putting their oxygen masks on incorrectly, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Many of the photographs showed passengers wearing the drop-down masks, but only covering their mouths. The proper way to wear the masks is to cover both the nose and mouth.
Flight 1380 saw the first fatality on an American passenger airline since 2009.
According to the FAA, the masks provide “phase-sequential continuous flow” that can prevent oxygen deficiencies up to 40,000 feet, the Chronicle reported.
The Southwest Airlines Boeing 373 blew an engine at about 30,000 feet, forcing an emergency landing in Philadelphia moments after the plane took off from New York.
A preliminary examination of the blown jet engine that forced a Southwest Airlines plane to make an emergency landing Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport shows evidence of “metal fatigue,” officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was carrying 144 passengers and five crew members from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Love Field when it made an emergency landing around 11:20 a.m. Tuesday. One person was killed and seven others were injured after the twin-engine 737 blew an engine at 30,000 feet and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window.
Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the NTSB, said Tuesday that officials discovered during a preliminary investigation that one of the engine’s 24 fan blades was broken at the hub and missing, the Philly Voice reported. Metal fatigue appeared to be the cause of the break, Sumwalt said.
Officials also found part of the engine’s covering in Bernville, Pennsylvania, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia.
Sumwalt said the investigation into the cause of Tuesday’s incident will likely take between 12 and 15 months.
“The investigation is very extensive,” Sumwalt said. “We’re just literally at the very, very beginning of the investigation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
While investigators are trying to find out what caused the engine of a Southwest Boeing 737-700 to explode mid-flight, many are praising the plane’s pilot that the catastrophic failure didn’t cause more deaths.
One person was killed when the engine of Southwest 1380 blew during a flight on the way to Dallas.
But who is the hero pilot?
Tammy Jo Shults brought the one-engine plane down safely at Philadelphia International Airport.
We now know her name, thanks to the passengers on board the flight. Southwest did not release the identities of the flight crew, Reuters reported.
Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots for the U.S. Navy and was inspired to fly when she was young.
She said she tried to go to an aviation career day during high school, but couldn’t because girls were not allowed, Reuters reported.
Shults is a 1983 graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, The Associated Press reported.
She applied to the Air Force, but the branch of the military would not let her take the test to be a pilot. She switched to the Navy, because it would.
She was one of the first female F-18 pilots before becoming an instructor. She left the Navy in 1993 to work for Southwest, Reuters reported.
Shults is married to another pilot and has two children.
The AP reported flight 1380 passenger Alfred Tumlinson said of Shults, “She has nerves of steel. That lady, I applaud her. I’m going to send her a Christmas card -- I’m going to tell you that -- with a gift certificate for getting me on the ground. She was awesome.”
Passengers told the AP that Shults walked through the plane making sure they were OK as soon as they got on the ground.
The flight left New York with 149 people on board. One person died and seven more were injured when a piece of the engine exploded and a piece of shrapnel broke a window and damaged the plane, the AP reported.
Jennifer Riordan was the passenger killed after a Southwest Airlines plane with a damaged engine and a broken window made an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Riordan, 43, was a Wells Fargo bank executive and a mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was taken to a hospital after the plane landed but died from her injuries. Her death was the first fatal U.S. airline incident in the country since a Colgan Air crash in February 2009 killed all 49 passengers and crew members in Clarence, New York, Newsweek reported.
Here are some facts about Riordan:
Community-minded: Riordan was the vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo in Albuquerque. Her husband, Michael Riordan, had served as the COO for the city of Albuquerque, KOAT reported. Jennifer also served as a board member for the New Mexico Broadcasters Association for two years.
Family matters: Jennifer and Michael Riordan were married on June 15, 1996, according to Michael’s Facebook page. The couple has two children, a daughter, Averie, 12; and a son, Joshua, 10.
Education: Riordan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from the University of New Mexico in 1999, according to Mission: Graduate.
Why a passenger? Riordan was in New York City on a business trip and was headed home to her family when the accident happened.
Quotes about her: In a statement, Wells Fargo called her "a well-known leader who was loved and respected." Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Albuquerque "lost a thoughtful leader who has long been part of the fabric of our community."
One fatality was reported after a Southwest Airlines plane with a damaged engine and a broken window made an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday, officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said.
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