The uncontained left engine failure on an Aug. 27 Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Orlando was likely initiated by a fan blade that broke off because of metal fatigue, according to a Sept. 12 investigative update by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). While the fan blade from the Boeing 737-700’s left CFM56-7B engine has not been retrieved, investigators were able to analyze the blade root, which remained in the hub. “The fracture surface of the ...

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