South West Airlines Flight WN 1380 17 April 2018.
On 17 April 2018 a South West Airlines Boeing 737-700 experienced an in-flight engine failure on climb-out from New York La Guardia airport which resulted in the death of one passenger who was partially sucked out of a shattered windows during a cabin depressurisation.
The NTSB have confirmed that a fan blade from the left-hand engine (a CFM56-7B) had separated from the engine hub and an initial examination has shown evidence of metal fatigue where the blade became detached.
This accident will be monitored by the ASG because a CFM56-7B engine on another SWA Boeing 737 experienced a very similar blade failure on 27 August 2016 during climb-out from Pensacola Florida. This accident resulted in airworthiness instructions, still current, which require ultrasonic inspection of all affected blades.
On 20 Apr 2018, the FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) which requires an ultrasonic inspection for cracks of the fan blade dovetail within 20 days and removal from service of cracked fan blades, in accordance with a CFM Service Bulletin issued on the same day.
The ASG notes that the EAD is satisfied if CFM Service Bulletins dated 24 March 2017 (as revised on 13 Jun 2017) or 24 Jul 2017 were implemented.
We await further information from the FAA and NTSB.