NTSB Examining Uncontained Engine Failure on Southwest Plane

So far, NTSB's initial findings from the examination of the airplane and the engine and a metallurgical examination show that the the left engine inlet separated from the engine during the flight, and debris from the inlet damaged the airplane fuselage and wing, gashing a 5-inch by 16-inch hole in the left fuselage just above the left wing.

The National Transportation Safety Board provided an update Sept.12 on its investigation of an Aug. 27, 2016, uncontained engine failure on Southwest Airlines flight 3472 as the Boeing 737-700 was flying from New Orleans to Orlando. The aircraft was diverted to Pensacola International Airport and safely landed without further incident.

So far, NTSB's initial findings from the examination of the airplane and the engine and a metallurgical examination show that the the left engine inlet separated from the engine during the flight, and debris from the inlet damaged the airplane fuselage and wing, gashing a 5-inch by 16-inch hole in the left fuselage just above the left wing. But no fan blade or inlet material was found in the hole, and the passenger interior compartment was not penetrated.

The airplane did experience a cabin depressurization.

According to NSTB, the aircraft's maintenance records are being reviewed.

A fan blade separated from the fan disk during the flight, and the root of that blade remained in the fan hub. Analysis showed curving crack arrest lines consistent with fatigue crack growth, with a fatigue crack region measuring 1.14 inches long and 0.217 inch deep. "The center of the fatigue origin area was about 2.1 inches aft of the forward face of the blade root. No surface or material anomalies were noted during an examination of the fatigue crack origin using scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy," according to NTSB, which added that the blades are made of a titanium alloy and the root contact face is coated with a copper-nickel-indium alloy.

The aircraft's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were shipped to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory and the data from both have been downloaded. Parties to the investigation include FAA, Southwest Airlines, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, and CFM International.

Download Center

  • Hand Safety Program

    Hand injuries are the #1 preventable industrial accident worldwide. In REThinking Hand Safety, the most comprehensive book on hand safety, you'll learn how top companies have reduced hand injuries by up to 90% and what the most successful hand safety programs have in common. Get your free copy today!

  • Free 1-on-1 Consultations

    Is your company ready to reduce hand injuries? Schedule a free meeting with a Superior Glove hand safety expert and learn how to reduce hand injuries, lower PPE costs, and increase worker productivity. Our 1-on-1 consultations offer personalized advice and recommendations for your specific needs and concerns.

  • Glove 101 Guide

    Choosing the right safety gloves for your workers can be a daunting task. That’s where some basic knowledge of gloves can really come in handy! In this comprehensive guide you’ll find key information you need to know about safety gloves from types of gloves and materials to additives, treatments, safety standards, and more.

  • Sample Program

    Find the right safety gloves for your team and try before you buy—in just 3 easy steps! Simply add the products you want to try to your sample box, complete the sample request form, and wait for your samples to arrive at no cost to you.

  • Water Protection Product Guide

    Find the right safety gloves for your workers that are designed to protect in wet environments. From light and flexible to heavy duty, find the best water-resistant gloves with mechanical protection to safeguard workers.

  • Superior Glove

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue