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Southwest Airlines Confirms Accident; Our Hearts Are With Those Affected

LindaRutherford Employee Rank
Employee

Thursday, May 17 5:45 PM

 

Southwest has completed the fan blade inspections on the CFM56-7B engines that power its Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 fleets. Southwest reports no additional findings of subsurface cracks.

 

The inspections were part of an existing CFM56-7B engine inspection program that Southwest voluntarily accelerated.  As part of the existing Southwest Maintenance Program, all CFM56-7B engine blades receive recurring inspections at, or before, every 3,000 aircraft cycles or 5,000 hours, whichever occurs first.

 

The completed inspections meet and exceed all applicable FAA Airworthiness Directives, as well as the CFM56-7B Service Bulletins issued by the manufacturer.

 

Monday, April 23 5:00 PM

 

Last Tuesday, Southwest shared our plan to voluntarily accelerate inspections of CFM engine fan blades throughout our entire Boeing 737-700/-800 Fleet. We are on track to inspect all CFM engine fan blades on the -700s and -800s within 30 days of our proactive inspection program initiated on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

 

This week, we will continue working to minimize flight disruptions by performing inspections overnight while aircraft are not flying and utilizing spare aircraft during the day, when available. We anticipate minimal delays or cancellations each day this week due to the inspections.

 

As a point of reference, last week’s inspections affected less than one percent of our 4,000 scheduled flights each day. We expect approximately one to two percent of our flights to be affected over the coming days as we complete the voluntary, accelerated inspections.

 

Customers on affected flights will be notified of any changes to their travel plans through proactive updates. As always, Customers are encouraged to check their flight status on Southwest.com.

 

Friday, April 20 6:45 PM

 

Southwest issued a statement following the Federal Aviation Administration's emergency airworthiness directive that was issued late this afternoon:

 

Southwest Airlines acknowledges the issuance of Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-09-51 by the Federal Aviation Administration to airlines operating CFM56-7B engines. The existing Southwest Airlines maintenance program meets or exceeds all the requirements specified in the Airworthiness Directive.

 

Thursday, April 19 10:15 PM

 

Please watch this video from our Chairman & CEO Gary Kelly that includes information about our engine maintenance program.

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 18 8:45 PM

 

Good evening. I wanted to share with you words from the Captain and First Officer of Flight #1380: 

 

“As Captain and First Officer of the Crew of five who worked to serve our Customers aboard Flight #1380 yesterday, we all feel we were simply doing our jobs. Our Hearts are heavy. On behalf of the entire Crew, we appreciate the outpouring of support from the public and our Coworkers as we all reflect on one family’s profound loss. We joined our Company today in focused work and interviews with investigators. We are not conducting media interviews and we ask that the public and the media respect our focus.” – Southwest Captain Tammie Jo Shults and Southwest Airlines First Officer Darren Ellisor

 

Tuesday, April 17 3:55 PM

 

Southwest Airlines confirms an accident involving Southwest Airlines Flight #1380. The flight made an emergency diversion to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) earlier today after the Crew reported issues with the number one engine which resulted in damage to the fuselage.

 

We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident. The entire Southwest Airlines Family is devastated and extends its deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the Customers, Employees, Family Members, and loved ones affected by this tragic event. We have activated our Emergency Response Team and are deploying every resource to support those affected by this tragedy. For a message from Gary Kelly, Southwest Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, please click here.

 

The aircraft involved today was a Boeing 737-700 (N772SW) and was enroute from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL). In total, the flight had 144 Customers and five Southwest Crew Members onboard.  We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Southwest Pilots and Flight Attendants who acted professionally and swiftly to take care of our Customers during the emergency diversion and landing.

 

Finally, Southwest Airlines officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident. Southwest is in the process of gathering additional information regarding Flight #1380 and will fully cooperate in an investigative process.

 

Please join the Southwest Family in keeping all of those affected by today’s tragedy in your thoughts.

 

 

Tuesday, April 17 12:05 PM 

 

We are aware that Southwest Flight #1380 from New York La Guardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL) has diverted to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). We are in the process of transporting Customers and Crew into the terminal. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-700, has 143 Customers and five Crew Members onboard. We are in the process of gathering more information. Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our Customers and Crews at this time.

14 Comments
kurnishpatel
New Arrival

I hope everyone is safe and sound. Friend on board the flight texted me that the crew and and and Pilot were very professional in this tragic situation. I'll be keeping you guys in my prayers today. 

Robertlebleu
New Arrival

Sad day.But, these things happen.Mechanical things do fail from time to time.Bravo Southwest for your professionalism.Just keep up the good work

Groi
New Arrival

Dear Southwest,

 

I can think of no other company who puts holds its customers in more high regard than Southwest and am saddened to hear of today's tragic accident. I am sure that the pilot and crew members did all that they could do to avoid a greater loss. May the family who lost a loved one find comfort in memories of happier times.  

MissMandyTravel
New Arrival

Such a sad day indeed.  From everything that I have read online, it sounds like the crew handled the situation urgently, professionally, compassionately, and bravely.  Thank you for always putting people first and to the crew for doing everything in their power to minimize the danger and land safely in PHL.  My heart goes out to the family of the individual who sadly lost their life.

wordsmith1313
New Arrival

After listening to the air-traffic chatter from this tragic incident, its clear that the pilots handled it remarkably well, as did the flight attendants. Well-done, as usual. Sending extra-LUVing thoughts tonight to your employees and those aboard, and particularly to the family of the lost passenger. 

KC1966
New Arrival

This incident was very unfortunate. Southwest is a terrific company with professionals. It was handled with class and transparency. We as a customer community are just as shocked. We stand by this fantastic company and Boeing aircraft. Whatever may have happened was certainly a freak occurence, and we all grieve for the deceased passenger. Prayers, thoughts, and hopes of healing to all involved.

Saygitana
New Arrival

Hi everyone, I so sad... Only prayers to all passengers and crew members. 

Hope that southwest review about their security and safety system, especially with children that their parents prefer don't pay the flight tickets for their seats. 

lsuffy
New Arrival

I love Southwest and will never use another airline.  Condolences to all involved in this flight 1380.  I was touched by the passengers who were trying to buy wifi while they thought they might not make it through the flight.  I think maybe it would be a good idea to make wifi free after this tragic flight.  If you need to make up that revenue, perhaps raising the price of extra checked baggage a little.  In this day and age,  wifi seems to be necessary in instances like this.

Louie2018
New Arrival

I have flown Southwest Airlines for many years & have always felt comfortable.  Unfortunately, after hearing of the terrible tragedy that happened on Flight 1380, I'm feeling very uneasy about flying.

 

Why wasn't this engine scheduled for possible engine problems until December, 2018?  I think they should take all aircrafts out of service if they haven't been inspected for a possible engine problem. I've read that an "eerily similar incident occurred in 2016 involving a Southwest flight & the same type of engine."  Please make this MANDATORY & IMMEDIATE INSPECTIONS before another horrible tragedy happens.

the-peach
New Arrival

Just wanted to take a moment to say how grateful I am to Captain Tammie Jo Shults and the entire crew of flight 1380 on April 17, 2018. The crew and the passengers on this flight acted calmly and heroically in the face of terrifying circumstances. As the Mom of a recently retired Air Force Pilot, I am aware of the pressures that job entails. The crew was truly amazing in this instance and they are truly heroes in my heart. Thank you for hearts in doing your job.

Lrg55
New Arrival

Typical flight with SW crop dusters.

Fly each week with SW only 1 more flight and no more.  7 weeks in a row plane late 1hr, 2hr, 3hr due to mechanical issues.

Not good SW

 

the-peach
New Arrival

Lrg55, I look forward to never having to worry about the chance of sitting next to you on any of my upcoming flights.  Thank you for deciding to move on.

DesertSailor1
New Arrival

  As a loyal Southwest customer I am greatful to see how well Southwest has been responding to this tragic incident - with compassion and a priority on ensuring safety. The last minute cancellation of some flights to accommodate the emergency inspections over the last several days has been understandable. However, the company has now had time to plan these additional inspections which it says will take about one month to complete.

  Linda's post above says that proactive customer updates will be sent and customers should check their flight status.  However, when I call customer service for information about a specific flight that is still a few days away, I am told that these inspections are considered to be mechanical issues and that the flight can be cancelled for that reason right up to departure time. 

  Are you able to assure customers now that flight cancellations due to these additional (now scheduled) inspections will be decided upon at least days in advance with proactive notice given so travel arrangements can be changed?

  Thanks for the LUV.

Grow
New Arrival

I  have been a loyal Southwest customer for many years. But last year, I was on three Southwest flights which all had mechanical problems, one of which required an emergency landing. In 2016 another Southwest engine disintegrated in mid flight causing decompression but no injuries. Now 1380 ushers in Southwest's first passenger fatality due to aircraft failure. 

Is there a maintenence issue at SWA? Yes there is. I applaud SWA for this forum and hope they fix the systemic culture of profits before safety which a number of SWA mechanics have been outspoken about. As loyal Southwest customers, let's remind Southwest that the safety of their aircraft should be their biggest and most urgent priority--not shareholders or profits. To do otherwise means there will be none of the above.