Southwest Cancelling Flights for Engine Inspections
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The fallout continues after Southwest’s fatal uncontained engine failure this past Tuesday. The airline is canceling dozens of flights across the country as it scrambles to inspect its engines following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness directive mandating engine inspections. Southwest plans to inspect all potentially affected engines within 30 days, requiring an aggressive inspection schedule for an airline with an all-737 fleet.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) preliminary investigation revealed metal fatigue in the engine that blew apart. Shrapnel from the failure struck the fuselage, blowing out a passenger window, and the sudden decompression led to passenger Jennifer Riordan being pulled partially out of the window. She later died from her injuries.
Thus far, FlightAware’s cancellation tracker has tallied 46 Southwest flight cancellations and 466 delays for Sunday, representing 1% and 11% of Southwest’s scheduled flights respectively. On Saturday, Southwest had the most flight cancellations of all airlines worldwide with 46 cancellations.
While still affecting only a minority of the carrier’s flights, you’ll still want to check your flight status before heading to the airport if you have a trip on Southwest scheduled over the next few days.
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