Aviation regulators demand emergency engine inspections following Southwest accident

Five El Pasoans among passengers inside Southwest Airlines plane when engine exploded

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered inspections of more jet engines like the one that blew apart at 32,000 feet in a deadly accident aboard a Southwest Airlines plane.

Authorities say nearly 700 Boeing 737 engines will need to be checked worldwide over the next 20 days.

The agency says its order affects 352 engines in the US and another 681 worldwide on "new generation" Boeing 737 jets. It is the product of a 40-year-old joint venture between GE Aviation and France's Safran Aircraft Engines called CFM International.

A cycle concerns a complete flight, from engine start to takeoff and landing to complete shutdown.

The inspection requirement applies to CFM56-7B, one of the world's most popular engines by engine maker CFM.

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A Southwest Airlines plane flying from NY to Dallas had to make an emergency landing Tuesday morning in Philadelphia after one of its engines was damaged, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Shrapnel from the engine smashed the window, which caused rapid decompression in the cabin.

A first inspection of the Boeing 737's damaged engine showed that an engine fan blade was missing, apparently broken due to metal fatigue, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Inspections take between two and four hours per engine, according to the FAA and manufacturer.

The U.S and European airline regulators ordered for inspection of almost 700 aircraft engines which are similar to the one involved in fatal southwest airlines engine blowout so as to ensure no risks of a similar mishap is present.

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