Southwest Airlines Co. said it has completed inspections of 35,500 aircraft-engine fan blades without finding any faults like the one that destroyed an engine in flight last month, leading to a passenger’s death.
“No findings. So it’s a very positive report,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said before the airline’s annual meeting Wednesday in Annapolis, Maryland.
A fan blade sheared off during a trip to Dallas from New York on April 17, destroying an engine and sending metal flying. One piece broke a window and a woman was partially sucked out before being pulled back in. The passenger, Jennifer Riordan, died from multiple injuries. Flight 1380 made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Southwest went beyond the inspections required by U.S. regulators, examining blades on all of its CFM56-7B engines, which power 703 of the Dallas-based carrier’s 717 aircraft. The turbines are built by CFM International Inc., a partnership between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SA.
The airline said last month that a cracked blade was discovered during reviews last year. The blade was replaced.