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>> The company behind the jet engine that blew up mid-air on a SouthWest flight is out with an urgent service bulletin Friday. All airlines are to inspect the type of engine involved in the fatal incident immediately. The recommendation from CFM, a joint venture of General Electric and France's Safran, forced the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as European regulators, to issue a similar mandate.
Airlines around the world are ordered to use ultrasound technology for the inspections within the next 20 days. Why? Because cracks that can cause engine fan blades to loosen and fly off may be too small to catch with the visible eye. Early results from a national traffic safety board investigation suggest that's what happened on a Southwest flight Tuesday.
Shrapnel from the jet explosion blew out a window, depressurized the cabin, and sent a passenger to her death as she was partially sucked through a gaping hole in the airplane. The type of engine involved in Tuesday's fatality was also involved in an engine explosion in 2016. It is considered the workhorse of the industry with 14,000 in use worldwide.
After the initial inspection, the manufacturer is now recommending a follow up every two years. Airlines like Southwest had pushed back in the past against aggressive inspections despite the low cost of doing so, saying they needed more time to comply with such requests. But Southwest now says that, quote, out of an abundance of caution it will speed up inspections.