Southwest 737 Incident - NTSB Investigation Update

September 12, 2016

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The US NTSB has released its initial findings of an investigation into an engine failure on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 in August.

The uncontained engine failure happened on a New Orleans to Orlando flight on August 27, 2016. The Southwest 737 diverted to Pensacola and landed safely.

The initial findings outlined the damage caused by an engine fan blade separating from the fan disk. A fatigue crack 1.14-inches long, 0.217-inch deep in the remaining part of the blade was found to be “consistent with fatigue crack growth”.

The left engine inlet separated from the engine, with debris from the inlet causing a 5-inch by 16-inch hole in the fuselage just above the left wing.

The damage caused cabin depressurisation and the flight diverted to Pensacola.

The NTSB is continuing its investigation, with work which includes a non-destructive examination of the blade surfaces for cracks, and a review of the engine maintenance records.