After the recent disaster that happened on Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, where an engine disintegrated mid-flight causing shrapnel to break a window and have a woman almost be sucked out of the plane, more pressure is being placed on companies to check individual fan blades more frequently.
The FAA has decided that fan blades need to be monitored more. This means that blades must now be checked before 20,000 miles and after 20,000 miles the blades will be re-checked every 3,000 rotations. Fan blades, CFM56-7B should also be checked as soon as possible, even if they had been checked just before the new motion was put in order. This is even more important if the fan blades have completed 30,000 rotations. Company’s and MRO’s should expect to get their blades checked every two years or so. Two years is about the equivalent of 3,000 blade rotations.
These new rules should impact over 3,000 different engines across the world and if set in place before could have saved lives. Southwest Airlines plane that was involved in the tragedy was found to have hair pin fractures across its fan blades in the left engine. These miniature cracks are likely the cause of the engine tearing apart mid-flight and causing one fatality.
This kind of incident is something that can be avoided with proper attention and active care of planes and their engine blades. It’s horrible that it caused the death of a passenger for this order to be put in place. Maybe now, things like this will be taken more seriously.
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