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NTSB Recommends Boeing Redesign Engine Covers After Deadly Accident



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a recommendation for Boeing to redesign the engine covers on its 737 NG aircraft after a failure last year that resulted in the death of a passenger.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the NTSB investigation found that Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia in April 2018 after the plane experienced engine failure about 20 minutes into the journey.

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Instead of the engine cowl keeping the broken fan blades contained and ejecting them out the rear, one of the fractured pieces pierced through the engine cover, hit the plane’s fuselage and broke a window.

As a result, the cabin depressurized and passenger Jennifer Riordan was partially sucked out the window. While other passengers and crew members managed to pull her back into the plane and perform CPR, Riordan became the first passenger killed in the U.S. on a commercial airplane in nine years.

“Jennifer’s family would like to thank the NTSB for the investigation and hope that these recommendations are taken seriously to ensure no other family has to go through this type of tragedy ever again,” Riordan’s family told ABC News. “In honor of Jennifer, please remember to be kind, loving, caring and sharing.”

The recommended redesign would impact around 6,800 Boeing 737 NG planes and could take months to complete, but it’s now up to the Federal Aviation Administration to determine if an Air Worthiness directive is worth issuing.

Boeing responded to the findings by saying the company is “committed to implementing enhancements, including strengthening the engine covering.”

NTSB officials also commended Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, who managed to land the Southwest plane safely thanks to her quick thinking and composure.

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