Home Safety NTSB to hold hearing on CFM56-7 series engine failure Nov. 14

NTSB to hold hearing on CFM56-7 series engine failure Nov. 14

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Aircraft engine inspection , NTSB

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold an investigative hearing Nov. 14 focused on the CFM International engine model involved an inflight engine failure earlier this year on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700.

The one-day hearing at the board’s headquarters in Washington DC will consider the CFM56-7 series engine fan blade design and development history; fan blade inspection methods and procedures; and fan blade containment design and certification criteria, the NTSB announced July 24.

The pilots of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport April 17 after the 737’s left CFM56-7B engine failed, blowing out a window and causing the cabin to depressurize. One of the 144 passengers on board was killed and eight passengers suffered minor injuries.

NTSB investigators responding to the scene discovered that one of 24 titanium alloy fan blades was missing from the damaged engine, and there was evidence of metal fatigue where the blade separated.

In the aftermath of the accident, the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued emergency airworthiness directives requiring fan blade inspections.

“This was the first fatal accident involving a US Part 121 air carrier in almost 10 years,” said John DeLisi, director of the NTSB Office of Aviation Safety. “This hearing will be an important part of determining why this tragedy occurred and will provide investigators important factual data regarding the engine fan blade and engine inlet design and certification.”

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