Southwest gives $5000 checks to passengers on Flight 1380

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A CFM56-7B failed on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 on Tuesday, forcing the flight to make an emergency landing.

Following this, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the inspection of 681 Boeing 737 engines around the world over the next twenty days. The engine manufacturer estimates today's corrective action affects 352 engines in the US and 681 engines worldwide.

Jennifer Riordan, 43, and also a mother of 2, was nearly sucked out of their broken window and pulled back by fellow guests. Those numbers represent a fraction of the 14,000 CFM56-7B engines are in operation today, according to engine manufacturer CFM International, a joint venture between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. The jet, which was headed from NY to Dallas, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

The incident raised a number of questions because jet engines are certified to be able to withstand a broken fan blade without causing major damage.

Engines with more 30,000 total takeoffs and landings must be inspected within 20 days.

The NTSB's Sumwalt said, however, that the kind of wear seen where the missing fan blade broke off would not have been visible just by looking at the engine. The plane made an emergency landing and no one was injured.

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It says about 150 of the engines have already gone through the process.

"It happens that there are disagreements about the right way to go in some cases, and this was one of them", the person familiar with the discussions said.

Southwest wrote in a statement that although it opposed the airworthiness directive proposed by CFM, it had nonetheless completed the inspections recommended by the manufacturer past year. During a public comment period that expired in October, Southwest and several other airlines raised objections, saying among other things they needed more time to carry out the work.

The airline added that its officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident. The administration had been under pressure to deal with this issue following a similar incident onboard another Southwest Airlines flight a year ago, although no one suffered an injury on that flight.

The new inspection is to be done while the engine is on the aircraft's wing.

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