The Latest: Southwest sought more time to inspect engines

The Latest: Southwest sought more time to inspect engines
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Southwest Airlines sought more time to inspect fan blades like the one that snapped off during one of its flights and caused an engine breakup that left a passenger dead.

The airline opposed a recommendation by the engine manufacturer to require ultrasonic inspections of certain fan blades within 12 months, saying it needed more time to conduct the inspections.

Southwest made the comments last year after U.S. regulators proposed making the inspections mandatory. The Federal Aviation Administration has not yet required airlines to conduct the extra inspections but said late Wednesday that it would do so in the next two weeks.

The recommendation for more inspections followed an engine blowup on a 2016 Southwest flight.

On Tuesday, the engine on another Southwest jet exploded over Pennsylvania and debris hit the plane. A woman was killed.


9:45 a.m.

A Texas firefighter on the Southwest Airlines flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia says his wife gave him the OK to leave his family and move toward the rear of the plane to aid a woman who had been partially blown through a damaged window.

An emotional Andrew Needum told reporters Thursday that he was traveling with his wife, two young children and parents when they heard a loud pop Tuesday.

Needum says he heard a commotion behind him and his wife, Stephanie, nodded at him to go help 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan.

Federal investigators say an engine blew apart Tuesday on the flight from New York to Dallas, sending debris into the fuselage and shattering a window.

Riordan was sitting near the window and was pulled partially through. She later died.


11:40 p.m.

U.S. airline regulators have ordered inspections on engine fan blades like the one that snapped off a Southwest Airlines plane, leading to the death of a woman who was partially blown out a window.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine’s manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

Pressure for the FAA to act grew after an engine on a Southwest plane blew apart on Tuesday, showering the aircraft with debris and shattering a window. A woman sitting next to the window was partially blown out and died of her injuries. The plane, which was headed from New York to Dallas, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.