Published on Thursday, May 17, 2018

No evidence of cracked fan blades found in Southwest checks

Southwest Airlines says it has completed maintenance checks on all its B737 engine fan blades exactly one month after an engine explosion on a Southwest flight killed one passenger.

The airline said it found no evidence of cracked fan blades which was blamed for the fatal accident.

"No findings. So it's a very positive report," said CEO Gary Kelly ahead of the airline's annual meeting.

However it opted to send 'several dozen' fan blades back to engine maker GE as they had some 'coating anomalies,' Southwest chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven told reporters.

Southwest had already been carrying out engine inspections before last month's accident as a directive had already been issued based on findings from a previous incident involving the airline nearly two years ago.

The airline had already inspected nearly half of its 737 fleet when last month's accident occurred.

The programme was then speeded up after two further safety directives from the FAA.

These required immediate checks of older engine fan blades used on CFM56-7B engines as well as more frequent inspections in the future.

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