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Southwest 3472 Boeing 737 loses part of left engine after inflight explosion

Major explosion on the left engine of a Southwest 737 flying from New Orleans to Orlando ( 기타...

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M Brewster 21
Somebody needs to go back to school. The title should read loses not looses. The Smart Phone is making people dumb.
I see that a lot, in many posts. That makes sense that it's the smart phone taking over.
I'd say it's ironic, not sense. An oxymoron, even.
Maybe it loosened itself? Then it came loose and fell off. But from what I've seen, the compressor assembly probably loosed it on the world.
Some regions outside the US have different spellings.
And semantics. Lose seems to come from the old Norse LOS and meaning something is lost. Loose from the old Norse lauss meaning to set free.
The difference in this case, IMO, is whether the parts were removed inadvertently (lose) or thru the deliberate action of some entity (loose). (limited to the word as a verb)
Why post this with a commercial link
Question: Is it true that SWA has a bit of its heavy MX done in Central America? Thought that I read - several years ago - about their C checks being done down south by subcontractors.

I don't mean to spread conjecture because this event is a near-tragedy. Thank God that the pilots broke the chain of events and landed safely. Indeed, if that cowl had taken out the port stab or the rudder on (that) SW bird, this conversation would have been a lot different.

While I admire SWA the company, I believe that they owe the public a forthright explanation including what they're going to do to prevent this "nacelle excursion" problem from occurring again. We don't need another jack screw scenario happening in the industry where bad MX practices knock out a complete aircraft and ruin lives.

Major kudos to Sparkle624 for putting your foot down, standing up for best practices, and demanding excellence. Thank you sir, and to all A&Ps and pilots that do their jobs by the book.
Yes, that is very true. They export most of their heavy maintenance jobs to South America as wages are lower and saves them money.... But at the same time it cost American Jobs
They are using Aeroman in San Salvador. Typically these mechanics make less than $16k/yr vs US $52k/yr. Obviously it's the main reason they went there.
What ever you do - do not take into your ignorance the exchange rate, cost of living or the skill set of the people you infer are not capable.
Exactly... they are required to have a company official on site while the maintenance is being done to ensure that it is being done correctly (Federal Law). There are usually 30 mechanics per plane and there could be 2 or 3 planes in work at a time (90 people) and 1 person to over see it all. Also make note that none of the Mechanics are required to have an A&P License... The only one that needs an A&P is the one or ones signing the actual log book.
Yeah...this is SUCH a serious problem air travel is so unsafe....oh, simply can not point out any direct flaws in the system, the mechanical abilities or the safety.....
Before we blame Aeroman, this plane (N773SA) landed in KSEA in April 30 and didn't fly again until Jun 2.
I was not blaming any heavy mtc station... This was probably not a heavy mtc issue and in general heavy mtc does not do anything to the engines. Sometimes they are removed to FOM (Facilitated Other Maintenance). Something of this nature I would blame on Over Night Maintenance, Line Maintenance and the Engine shop. I only made the statement that they do a lot of there heavy mtc out of the country.
honza nl 5
Your TV, computer, smartphone etc etc are also made abroad, it also costs US jobs. And these people then buy US and EU plabnes which creates jobs. That's called trade.
Very True... and that is one of the biggest problems in this country right now. The Government has screwed things up way too far! and I am afraid it is only going to get worse.
There's a misconception that the government is responsible for jobs leaving the country. While I understand that some government regulations due cause companies headaches and resources...I would offer that the Unions are more of headaches for major companies then the government. Unions are trying to keep up their worth by continually hounding big companies like GM and Ford and many others in benefits and salary and in this day of critizing companies for their greed (and I'm there also at times) they are in business to make a profit and satisfy their investors if they have any...not just to employ people and make them rich. It's a crazy circle of wages, prices and benefits. I understand that unions have their place and time, but some are just obnoxious and overly bloated.
It is no misconception... The Jobs leaving this country are directly due to unnecessary regulations and taxes... The government has put so much against companies that they cannot compete and the only way they can do so is to go to other countries that have given them regulations that they can work with.
As the COO of a company, I can tell you that in a global economy companies will reduce costs any way they can, including moving operations and headquarters to lower-cost countries. If you don't, your competitors will and then their prices will be lower than yours. You'll go out of business and then all your jobs will be gone.

However, many of those countries are lower cost because their workplaces are less safe, they allow companies to dump waste into the rivers and they have no basic social safety net for the unemployed, disabled, etc. I don't think that the US should try to "race them to the bottom" by letting corporations do whatever they want (radical deregulation). Instead, when we sign trade agreements, we should instead insist that other countries have the same level of basic regulations of workplace safety, environmental protection, etc. that we do. Every trade agreement should enforce this. That would mean a better life for everyone around the world.

Sadly, neither of our political parties has done a good job on that in the past 40 years.
AWAAlum 1
Valid view. However, even though it's perfectly sound reasoning, if insisting those other countries have the same level of basic regulations, etc., wouldn't ultimately cause the necessity of increasing wages, thus canceling out any reason to offshore? (I think "offshore" is an accurate term ? )
Bingo! You've got it exactly correct AWAAlum. The goal of global trade shouldn't be to exploit the workers who have the least protection, it should be to create a level playing field for everyone.
A level playing field isn't much good if the game is polo and one side lacks horses, mallet, and rule-book.
"Level Playing Field" is just a metaphor. The ultimate goal is to make as many of the conditions as possible equal on all sides so that the best products with the best prices win out. I'm not sure which side you think lacks horses, mallet and rule-book.
I agree, but many times that I hear the phrase one or more sides are giving lip service while bending things in their favor. I am glad to see your perspective added to the discussion and recognize that the topic is complex.
Really, REALLY keep drinking the Repugnant kool-aid because corporate profits are at RECORD LEVELS!!!!
ken young -1
Yes the usually unreasonable demands of labor unions at contract talks, is just one reason why companies either move operations to right to work states or to nations where labor is less costly.
Another contributing factor is the US Corp tax rate (35%) which is one of the highest in the industrialized world
Also, Ken, only 11% of the US labor force is unionized today, and that's down from 20% in 1983. I don't see how you can conclude that unions are to blame for off-shoring.

As I've said, I'd rather force our trading partners to give their workers the same workplace safety and standard of living that we have here than to force all of America's workers to have the same standard of living of Bangladeshi textile workers.
Ken your ignorance is unbecoming but sadly is rampant given the constant Repugnant din and lies about high taxes.

The EFFECTIVE U.S. corporate tax rate, the ACTUAL taxes paid on net income is about 12% with about 1/2 of U.S. Corps paying ZERO taxes.

Please educate yourself before spreading the Repugnant mythology about taxes, YOU are part of the MAIN reason for the Dumbing down of America
I'm afraid you're right.
30west 0
Sparkie, Thanks for you professional insight throughout this discussion into this incident. I, for one, appreciate it. Never having flown or maintained the 73, I can't add much of value to this. I would feel comfortable discussing other Boeings which I have flown and feel competent to add to those discussions or piloting in general.
Engine overhauls are done in Celma, Brazil.
I am a retired airline pilot of 31 years. Had 18,000+ when I retired. During that time I had 3 catastrophic engine failures. In other words, they blew up and threw schrapnel in the cabin. No one was hit in any of them. Still, my point is, why is this making the news? To me it is just crazy. Crews train for this and I can tell you, my heart rate hardly went up for more than a minute and it was all business getting back on the ground. Aftwards, we went to the hotel and had a drink and a good night's rest before continuing the trips. No heroes in the cockpit we just do what we are trained to do. All were very ordinary events as we were so well trained to handle them. Sheesh.
As a veteran pilot, I'm sure you can handle yourself in a cockpit and it doesn't seem like a major issue when something like this happens. But from the view of the general public, this is something that isn't heard of much and isn't dealt with with extensive training so it's 'big news'. I'm more inclined to go with you since I'm a 'seasoned' passenger but it's still of interest. When you're sitting in the cabin and pieces of the engine start flying around and into the very location your sitting...its a big deal! Lol
vlfcrews 3
My two cents on this as a 25+ year commercial pilot and instructor, had there not been any pictures, it would not be the sensational story it is. But the pictures are very dramatic, so it is big news. "If it bleeds, it leads" kind of thing.

One thing that is irritating to me is the hype this headline gives. There was no explosion. The Inlet cowling failed for as of yet undetermined reasons and caused aircraft damage including a pressurization loss and required an inflight shutdown. The crew showed their professionalism by handling it properly as they were trained to do. Over sensationalizing the event only makes the public more scared. What should be more publicized, in my opinion, is the large safety margin built into the structures of the aircraft to handle an event like this and still lead to a safe landing from which all pax walked away from.
rdlink 3
While I respect your experience I have to say that your assertion that this is not newsworthy is outright ridiculous.

This paragraph:

"Photos taken aboard the flight showed the Boeing 737-700’s engine inlet completely torn away, revealing extensive structural damage to the engine nacelle that hangs underneath the wing. The spokesman said the failure caused a depressurization of the cabin. The jet’s fuselage, front edge of the wing, horizontal tail stabilizer and winglet were also damaged."

makes it clear that this was a major malfunction, and had things gone just a tiny bit more wrong there could have been 104 lost souls.

Pilots deal with a lot of things, and can be rockstars. But there is no need to be so arrogant about this story.
I understand your perspective. You train and are constantly aware of "worst-case scenarios" and how to respond. That perspective is not shared by the majority of passengers who mostly have an 'it can't happen here to me" attitude and have been fed airplane disaster movies as part of their entertainment. I hope failures of this type will continue to be newsworthy. The only alternative is for them to occur so frequently as to be an every day occurrence and thus non-newsworthy.
See Griff that takes it out of the realm of the sensational - the only mode they seem to recognize. UNLESS they can feed further and come up with a Sully. Media should have folks who have at least some knowledge of the topic about which they try to write.... The professionalism of air crews is doubtless looked upon by the media as something which they wish they could attain. It would be interesting if media had their feet held to the fire every time they made an error... Matter of fact I like that idea!
Fantastic realism, I agree it is a natural calm handling that is the best policy. .Also retired, and I spend many hours flying in X-10 now, and landing with a gin and orange. .Instead of ground control!
anyone know how at what altitude he was at when this blew apart. In addition from my experience of working 737 a/c and I know them inside and out as well as that engine. Those GE Engines do not separate like that just as a general failure. It is my opinion having worked more hours on this type of a/c than most any pilot has flight time flying it that this is a direct result of maintenance error, omission, or practice. In other words, so one or some group screwed up or did not do there job. I used to work for South West and I was give a direct assignment by the Lead Mechanic to be sure to clean under an engine that was leaking so that the Pilot would not see it on his walk around... NO JOKE! and that is one of the reasons that I no longer work there.
AWAAlum 1
Hopefully, that was just that one guy's insane method, and not a company mandate.
Looks like the last healthy data point was at 10:21:30. After that it was level and slowing, then descending.
Should've said, it was at 30k at that point. The data updates at 1 minute intervals.
Dropped to about 19K over 7 minutes, then steeply to level off at 10K between about 07:29 & 07:31

[This poster has been suspended.]

joel wiley 19
Mr. Hartmann, you frequently criticize posters for failing to add value to the topic of the squawk. I do not see how your post relates to the engine failure subject of this post. It seems you are guilty of the very 'shop practice' transgressions for which you chastises others.
sparkie624 14
KMDW - I worked for them for 2 Months and I was not going to work at what I considered sub-standard maintenance practices and went back to where I was working. Tire Changes in 10 minutes, brake changes in 20 on a 737 doing by yourself... It can be done, but no one can do it and consider it a good job. There is a lot more that I do not approve of as well. When I put in my letter of resignation that they wanted, I listed everything that I was not happy with up to and including alcohol in the hangar while waiting at the time clock and mechanics actively working on the aircraft. At that time I had over 10 continuous years of working on the 737's starting from the -200 basic to the -700 NG's.
JetMech24 -7
those times are easily obtainable with good workmanship on top of it. Those aren't exactly NASCAR pit crew speeds.
I disagree, and would never ask a mechanic to do work at rates that they are accomplished. I have about 30 years in the industry and much of it on the 737... Maintenance wise I know the plane inside and out, and I know what it takes. There is no one alive that can change a 737 MWA in 10 minutes safely. Keep in mind on there clock when you are doing the walk around and decide to change the tire, the 10 minutes starts from the time you leave the plane to get the MWA and Jacks to the time the log book is signed off. - That was the provisions I was given in training. I worked there and I left there because I refused to work under that environment that I did not feel I was allowed to do an adequate safe job... Not worth my Job, License, and/or carrier.... The airline industry is not NASCAR, but sometimes I think that SWA thinks they are!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

The key to what you just said: "in a hangar environment," - I worked the line for thru flights. We had 30 minute turns to do a check and if it needed a tire change they wanted done in 10 minutes..
JetMech24 -4
Easily done.
Not safely!
JetMech24 -4
Yes safely!
I'm with you. His punctuation or lack thereof make me question his "credentials"!
AWAAlum 1
I don't imagine the participants here have given you carte blanche to speak for them. If you have a question, it would behoove you to ask on your own behalf rather than your "can you tell us" method of query. Don't assume to speak for others.
I was on this flight 3472 the FL was actually 28000ft the cowling covers from the left engine had ripped of causing this explosion and a fire ball which quickly disappeared due to the rush of air. The 737 vibrated badly and had slightly dipped too the right Immediately after this passengers and crew were put into brace position which came from the flight crew . The aircraft leveled out at FL27000FT still vibrating badly and shaking continuing until we reached FL2500ft. Most of the over head locker compartments came open with items falling on passengers. Oxygen masks were deployed. The pilots had done a great job in controlling this little 737. We were meet by many emergency services once on the ground
I'm going out on a limb and calling BS. I want proof this poster was on the plane. The part about overheads being open and contents falling doesn't make sense. There's nothing that would cause that. Vibrations would be from spoilers being deployed to get down fast, and it doesn't make sense they would cause such vibration to open the overheads.

You don't brace at that altitude. There are other things about this post that raise the skepticism of anyone on the interwebs more than a month.
AWAAlum 1
Aw heck - if you're right, give him his perceived moment in the spotlight.
Crazy. How was the post landing experience? i.e. SW taking care of you at the emergency landing airport, and getting you to your destination?
Wow. That passenger who took the picture must have been quick. The compressor blades are blurred, noting the engine was still in rotation. Strange. Whats up with the latches on top being in the open position. Do they "latch" the inlet? A&P 30 years.
I too A&P and have 30+ experience in the airlines and most on the 737, and very familiar with that engine... This by any definition was NOT an UnContained Engine Failure. You cannot see the compressor blades at all. If you look closely you will notice that the engine is still in tact as you can see the engine with the Fan and the Fan Blade Hub/Spinner in place, Only thing that broke off was the front Engine Intake Cowling. As it came off (No Proof) but highly suspect that parts breaking off were probably ingested into the engine core causing engine issues. You will also note that some of the cowling is left behind making note of the the anti-ice plumbing hanging loose and the bulk head it is connected to as well. Due to improper and impeded airflow and not to mention trash now inside the engine probably severely affected the ITT forcing a shut down either automatically by the FADEC or crew initiated. make note, no part of the Engine came apart, only the cowling up front which does serve a useful purpose to the proper airflow through the engine.
Wow...I am glad that there were skilled folks on the pointy end...glad you are here to talk about it.
Keep in mind that the first people to the crash site is the ones in the Pointy End... Everyone else arrives a very very short time later :)
At first glance I thought that was the first compressor turbine in the picture with the fan ripped away, but based on the cone at the front, the position relative to the wing, and the fact that there's no bypass duct around it, It seems like that is the main fan, with the inlet duct and nacelle gone. Doesn't look like a turbine failed. You can see the metal blown outward from ahead of fan, a region that should normally be low pressure. Maybe a really bad compressor stall?
You are correct... This was not a Turbine Failure... The way this broke is somehow maintenance related. To me it looks like they lost the fan and the low pressure turbine section. At the point of failure is a very low pressure area... Something broke that was missed in an inspection. This engine just does not fail that way!
I was actually theorizing that the rotating element in the picture, just behind the damaged area, was the main fan with no apparent damage to it or the low pressure compressor section behind it (although I'm sure it ingested some bad stuff in the process). Sorry, I wasn't very clear there. It looked to me like the damage was entirely to the non-rotating parts of the front of the engine (the forward duct and nacelle). That is why I was thinking a compressor stall, which could cause a pressure spike in that part of the engine. I'd wager that it was still running and developing power right up until the pilots shut it down.
As for telling the foreman... He was standing beside the lead when I was instructed to do this task...
"To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In." I don't think so . . . I'm out.
totally agree. put a link behind a subscription? GMAFB

this is the same thing, i think, if it is not please correct me. i don't want to get in trouble with the linknazis.
Ever with their hands out stretched....wanting more moneeeeeeeeeee
against my better judgement, i'm going to post this link. but before i do i'm going to make a statement i'm sure will cause a shitstorm directed at myself.
i haven't watched network news in over 25 years. they are a bunch of dumbass propagandists. this is just my opinion, but 99% of what they say are lies. where is my proof of this percentage. i don't need proof. it's my opinion.
the reporter(s) in this video confirm my opinion. while photos confirm there is serious and extensive damage to the engine, listen to the verbage of the dumbass reporters as they narrate the video. i bet that lead-in reporter had an orgasm reporting this story.

the video:

and if anyone in MSM is reading this comment GFY.
i'm surprised the "i" word and "t" word weren't used in the clip.
AWAAlum 1
My belief, and just now everything I've researched, says it's "verbiage". Since this site isn't about grammar shortcomings, I wouldn't mention it normally, however, since your entire post was about that exact issue decided you'd want to know. Perhaps you used your smart phone.
as i am not a reporter, and don't make my living using grammar, i can right any damn thing i want. that is their profession. it is not mine.
if they were as good at being a reporter/journalist as you are in being an asshole, or in your case asswhole, i would not have posted what i did.
also apart from yourself, i will not decide what you want to know.
AWAAlum 1
The video which you posted and to which you appear to object, is an example of what I refer to as BBN (Breathless News Network) reporting. It does not represent the endangered profession of journalism. It is the kind of production that is focused upon attention-getting and is often seen on the web as a way to attract attention to the ads on the web pages. The intent is not to inform but to drive advertising revenue. I believe the proportion of information that are outright lies is much lower than your estimated 99%. A great percentage is slanted in one direction or another, but not outright lies.

You don't need to use grammar professionally in order to use it to communicate effectively. Civility helps support one's argument as well.
My boss was on that flight. He and his wife sitting at the wing and they heard and saw the whole thing. He says it sounded like a shot gun blast in his ear and he saw the cowl and engine nacelle disintegrate. They were at 30,000 at the time ,oxygen mask deployed and craft shook violently as they made a rapid descent. Piliot came on a few minutes later to try t assure everyone. He says that people were about to panic and his friends wife was texting her kids goodbye. Part of the engine pierced the fuselage but did not puncture all the way through thank God. Great flying by the flight crew.
oh man. what an experience.
So, is a high by-pass fan jet without the fan called a high by-pass jet?
Never mind. I've seen new pics. Fan still duct MIA.
I had the same initial view as you did... The total engine stayed in tact but the Fan pierced the fuselage and they could not maintain pressurization. I don't think many people realize how lucky they were... Suppose it did not take out the side of the fuselage, but rather took out a Horizontal Stab/Elevator or the Vertical Stab & Rudder! Not wishing bad luck on people and glad it turned out the way it did, but if it had gotten one of the 2 primary controls in the back we would be having a totally different conversation.
This thread on Facebook has great pics taken by someone as they were getting off the plane.
Make note... All the sheet metal stayed in place that holds it in place... Only thing that broke was the Composite Material.... and the fact that this was not caught by anyone is unreal, (but not surprising).. I have seen people looking in these intakes at night with flash lights that needed batteries 6 months ago and many only spend a second or 2 actually looking at it as they do not want to spend too much time on something that never fails.
looks like structural failure of the cowl and a goodly chunk of it went up and over—the two struts at 9 and 3 o’clock are intact while 12:00 is up; there’s superficial damage at 10:00; in the second Facebook pic the wing root got dented and you can see the cabin puncture, and some indication that another large mass broke off ventrally
Incident summary from ASN...
ilikerio 2
If you don't trust Wall Street Journal...
I think slide 38 might be a good place to start.
Why would someone post a story that not everyone has access to?
They were probably subscribed and forgot about it and thought everyone had access. Easy to do if you have subscription services and in the future, there will probably be more of that, especially when more media outlets go to pay to view articles..
Don't cite the WSJ... It's behind a paywall.
seems a bit worse than the AirTran flight from July of 2004.
Much Much Worse... The SWA ingested parts being broke off the engine when they lost the cowling, plus the cowling from SWA penetrated the side of the Fuselage to the point that they could not pressurize.
cross referencing squawk Fan Blade broke on engine:
dee9bee 1
I saw a TV report stating the pax were 'traumatized'. I can understand that, but they still took time out to take 'selfies'!
FB has reports of bright lights before the incident, and everyone loosing 4 mins on their time pieces, another one for the x files.
Can't wait for the wikipedia version to come out
Why do I have to open an account with the WSJ to read this BS?
Luke M 1
video of a Boeing 737 engine swap at a South West maintenance facility. 0:45 when they remove cowling.
Can't red the link w/out subscribing
Lou Toth 1
My buddies and I heard this jet from a small private airfield north of PNS. Let's praise the crew for good headwork and a safe and successful conclusion of this inflight emergency.
Boy have they been in the news lately
flightra 1
From the pictures I saw, what was lost is not a part of the engine per say. I wish the journalists would stop writing anything and everything aviation related just for the sake of sensationalism. The fan, the fan spinner and the fan case all look pretty much intact, what detached/broke off is forward of all that: it is the air intake and de-ice lip which are bolted onto the fan case, these are not engine parts. The investigation will determine what happened, we should leave all this in the very capable hands of the NTSB aviation specialists.
Like other posts, why post this as commercial link?
Don't send me to a website like Wall Street journal where I have to join and pay money to see your article
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Southwest 3472 looses part of left engine after inflight explosion

A Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans was diverted to Pensacola after a mechanical issue with one of the plane's engines.
Why should I have to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal in order to read the text in this article?
AWAAlum 1
Ask the WSJ
Yeah, that's a really smart answer! If you can't contribute anything positive, you should keep your responses to yourself. All I am trying to convey is that FlightAware should be informed of the requirements to view this article.
AWAAlum 1
It's your view that isn't positive. Mine was a completely positive answer. You're just looking to argue. Relax, Marshall.
Thanks for the comment. I am good now. I needed to be grounded a bit today.
Weren't four digit flight numbers AirTran numbers?
No... They have had 4 digit flight numbers for a long time.
Saw news on what looked like the whole compressor assemble flew apart. Lucky nobody got hit.
Media fertilizer. they think things falling apart is something that will make them somehow superior because they can show you on and on. Media perspective shattered long ago.
lou nagy -2
** Reading all the comments, can ANYONE give ,AT LEAST, some of this information to FAA. What is FEDERAL LAW here in the US, may not take precedence in SAN SALVADOR. (wonder if SW will be the one to bring back jobs in America, or not)!
Keep in mind that all the work done out of the country has to be conformed to FAA US Standards. Even though they may have been certified, the facility is certified and not the people. Also, SWA is 100 percent responsible for any issues that arrive from their work. Be well assured that the FAA well knows all of their facilities and makes sure the standards are being up held. - I do hope that when Trump gets into office that he will make it un-economical for them to do this work out of the country. As a mechanic, I do not trust the out of country work myself, and it is cheating the US Workers.
Because that is totally okay. Engines falling apart.


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