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Vermont family of woman killed on Southwest flight: 'God needed her'

20 April 2018, 01:11 | Melanie Burgess

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Investigators say Jennifer Riordan died of blunt-force trauma of the head, neck and torso. The directive will require an ultrasonic inspection of fan blades when they reach a fixed number of cycles.

Jennifer Riordan was killed Tuesday after the left engine on a Southwest flight from NY to Dallas failed and caused debris to crash through a window of the Boeing 737-700. Debris from the engine and cowling penetrated the plane's wing and fuselage, shattering a passenger window.

Pilot Tammie Jo Shults and the rest of the Southwest crew along with Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, all expressed their condolences.

"They said there's a hole and someone went out".

The Southwest jet engine showed evidence of "metal fatigue", National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday.

"We've confirmed flight 577 departing Nashville (BNA) experienced a bird strike shortly after takeoff", the airline said in a statement to CBS News.

The pilots of the twin-engine Boeing 737 bound from NY to Dallas with 149 people aboard made an abrupt turn toward Philadelphia and began a rapid descent after the engine blew. To be able to extrapolate that to the entire 737 fleet, I will say that if we feel this is a deeper issue we have the capability to issue urgent safety recommendations.

FAA will issue an airworthiness directive (AD) in the next two weeks requiring inspections of certain CFM56-7B turbofan engines, the U.S. agency announced one day after the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 engine failure.

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It was the second time this kind of engine had failed on a Southwest jet in the past two years, prompting airlines around the world to step up inspections.

All such engines undergo testing prior to certification, including the simulated failure of a fan blade. Pieces of the plane were found in rural Pennsylvania by investigators who tracked them on radar. The Federal Aviation Administration has not yet required airlines to conduct the inspections but said late Wednesday that it would do so in the next two weeks. EASA said the directive was issued after the failure of a fan blade on a CFM56 engine, which led to the uncontained release of debris.

Around one minute after the message, she executed the emergency landing and got her aircraft home.

Witnesses say Riordan's body was half out the window, and McGinty was struggling to pull her back into the plane.

"The window had broken and the negative pressure had pulled her outside the plane partially", Peggy Phillips, a registered nurse who was on the plane, told WFAA-TV in Dallas. A photo of panicked passengers incorrectly wearing their oxygen masks as the plane made its decent has made the rounds on social media.

"I thought it was the end of my life", Johnson, an assistant principal at East Montana Middle School in El Paso, Texas, told People.com. During the incident, he logged on to the in-flight Wi-Fi to send messages to his family. Watching the daily air show, she knew she "just had to fly''".

The two-year-old incident was revealed following Tuesday's deadly incident that killed a mother of two aboard a Southwest flight. The investigation is expected to take 12 to 15 months.

In August 2016, a Southwest Airlines 737 flying from New Orleans to Orlando was forced to make an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida, when an engine failed. Past year the FAA issued an airworthiness directive on the CFM56-7B version that would have required inspection of the fan blades.

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