Who Is Responsible for the Southwest Accident?

April 20, 2018
Updated 5mo ago

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered ultrasonic inspections of jet engines after an explosion on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this week killed a passenger.

"In other parts of the world, these regulations have already been in place," said Emily McNutt, a news writer at The Points Guy. "In Europe, just last month European regulators issued these same regulations that require airlines to inspect those CFM 56-7B engines, which are most commonly found on Boeing 737 aircraft."

It was a Southwest Boeing 737 jet that suffered a catastrophic failure of one of its engines on Tuesday en route from New York to Dallas. One passenger, identified as Jennifer Riordan, a 43-year-old Wells Fargo executive from New Mexico, was killed when she was sucked against a broken window as the cabin depressurized.

This is not the first call for inspections of this type of engine aboard Boeing 737 aircraft. An accident aboard a different Southwest jet in 2016 moved the F.A.A. to consider inspections. And the engine's manufacturer CFM proposed checks in recent years, and is now pressing for them.

McNutt said it wasn't clear whether the airline or the engine manufacturer was responsible, and if the F.A.A. should have acted sooner in regards to engine inspections. The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating.

"It could be on the airline in that they weren't inspecting the engines. But it could be on the F.A.A. because back in 2016, a similar incident did happen, again involving Southwest," said McNutt on Friday in an interview with Cheddar. "Because the F.A.A. didn't immediately require that airlines didn't undergo these inspections, the F.A.A. kind of is partially is responsible in a sense. Whether or not this holds up legally is yet to be determined."

For full interview, click here.