A Southwest Airline Boeing 737 was involved in a fatal uncontained engine failure accident mid-air, which resulted in death of one passenger.
The domestic Flight 1380 from New York La Guardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL) was immediately diverted to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) following the incident.
The fan blade detached from the inlet main fan hub of no.1 (left) CFM CF56 engine, which damaged the engine cowling.
The resulting debris hit fuselage of the aircraft and broke a cabin window causing cabin decompression.
The Flight 1380 had taken off from LGA at 09:43 local time. At About 10:04 the engine suffered the uncontained failure, when the aircraft had reached FL320 (32000 ft).
The flight crew executed an emergency descent and landed at PHL at 10:19 hours.
The aircraft was carrying 143 passengers and five crew members. A passenger was partially ejected through the broken cabin window due to the depressurization. She later died of heart attack.
Preliminary analysis by NTSB indicated metal fatigue caused the detached fan blade. Later the cowling debris from the 737’s engine was found in Bernville, Pennsylvania.
The lady Captain Tammie Jo Schults, an ex-US Navy F/A-18 pilot and First Officer Darren Ellisor was praised for their restrain and calm exercised to safely land the aircraft with single engine.
The aircraft a Boeing 737-700, with registration N772SW was 17 years and 10 month old.
Southwest Airlines announced that it is accelerating its existing engine inspection program relating to the CFM56 engine family after a similar accident in August 2016.
The ultrasonic inspections of fan blades of the CFM56 engines are expected to be completed over the next 30 days.