TULSA, Okla. - Mechanics at one of Tulsa's largest employers, American Airlines, are awaiting any new instructions from the Federal Aviation Administration on how to examine their engines for fatigue.
The possible directive coming down from the FAA would be in response to Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which experienced an engine explosion after a fatigued engine fan blade broke off. The explosion caused a window to shatter and killed a passenger.
The anticipated directive from the FAA is expected to impact all U.S. commercial carriers operating Boeing 737s using CFM56-7B fan blades.
American Airlines considers its Tulsa maintenance base to be a Center of Excellence for repairing and maintaining its fleet of more than 400 Boeing 737s.
American Airlines told FOX23 in a statement it followed recommended rules for inspecting fan blades that came out last year.
Southwest Airlines, however, reportedly objected to the new rules, claiming it is too labor intensive and hard for the airline to comply within the FAA's suggested deadline.
American Airlines said in a statement to FOX23 about the possible engine directive the following:
“Our hearts go out to the Riordan family, the passengers and crew of Flight 1380 and the entire Southwest Airlines team. After a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published in August 2017, American Airlines voluntarily began inspections of CFM56-7B fan blades under the guidance proposed in the NPRM. We continue to closely monitor the investigation being led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).”
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