Southwest Airlines rescuer: 'Felt a calling to help'

Gary Kelly - Flight 1380

Gary Kelly - Flight 1380

Federal safety investigators continue to examine the engine of a Southwest Airlines jet that killed a passenger when it exploded in midair.

It added that ultrasonic inspections would be conducted on fan blades on some CFM56-7B engines after they reach a certain number of takeoffs and landings. The initial estimate of 220 engines could be far lower than the actual number that needs to be inspected, as fan blades were repaired and moved to other engines.

The inspections won't be limited to Southwest jets.

This was the second mid-air engine accident on a Southwest plane in the last two years.

William Waldock, a safety expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said he expects that this week's incident will push the FAA to require more detailed inspections of fan blades, but the details and pace will depend on whether investigators find fatigue in other fan blades on the broken engine.

He could not say if the incident indicated a fleet-wide issue with the Boeing 737-700.

Emergency personnel monitor the damaged engine of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which diverted to the Philadelphia International Airport this morning after the airline crew reported damage to one of the aircraft's engines, on a runway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. "It sounded like the plane was coming apart, and I think we pretty quickly figured out that something happened with the engine", retired nurse Peggy Phillips told WFAA-TV in Dallas. Blades that fail will have to be replaced, the agency said.

What do we know about the engines?

Photos of the plane on the tarmac showed a missing window and a chunk gone from the left engine, including part of its cover. "We can see paint transfer", Sumwalt said.

His wife nodded that it was OK for Needum to leave his family to help the injured woman.

Who was the victim?

Family members have identified the woman as 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan, a banking executive and mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico. No debris-including acrylic from the shattered window in row 14-was found inside the aircraft, indicating that the window was shattered and blown out by the cabin pressure. Thankfully, other passengers were able to pull her in but she went into cardiac arrest and was unresponsive.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health said Wednesday night that Riordan died of blunt-impact trauma to her head, neck and torso.

That showed on Tuesday, as a picture of passengers in the plane following its engine failure show almost everybody wearing their oxygen masks improperly.

In an event like Tuesday's accident, an incident causing sudden cabin decompression can mean passengers' air supply is rapidly pulled from the cabin.

By then, she met her "knight in shining airplane, " a fellow pilot who would become her husband, Dean Shults. "Our hearts are heavy", Captain Tammie Jo Shults and First Officer Darren Ellisor said in a statement released by the airline.

"It's one of the more frustrating things of the job, you're standing in front of people trying to convey how they can save their lives in an emergency and they're texting, taking selfies, have their headphones in or they're already asleep!"

"I've always said, you give me a good person, I can make a good firefighter out of him". She had flown supersonic F/A-18 Hornets as one of the Navy's first female pilots at a time when women were still barred from combat duty, before leaving active service in 1993. According to WebMD, that can lead to confusion, shortness of breath, fainting, or - worst-case-scenario - death.

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