Officials: Cause Of Southwest Engine Failure Will Take Weeks, Months To Solve

Kristen Johanson
April 18, 2018 - 12:59 pm
The National Transportation Safety Board is onsite inspecting a Southwest airline plane after engine failure caused the plane to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport.

@NTSB_Newsroom/Twitter via CNN

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Authorities are now sifting through the charred and disheveled frame of Southwest Flight 1380, which resulted in one death and several injuries.

Officials are beginning the extensive investigation as to what caused the plane to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport. 

NTSB officials have said the cause may be attributed to a missing piece of an airblade fan, but it will take weeks or months before that is ultimately known.

Aviation lawyer and pilot John Gagliano said NTSB officials start with the basics: "What the history of the aircrew is, the pilots, what they were doing. The flight attendants, what they were doing."

Authorities will pour over flight and engine records, analyze what the crew did 24 to 72 hours before the incident, and further interview passengers.

READ: NTSB Looks for Swift Answers Into Cause of Southwest Engine Failure

Passengers' luggage were not returned until after the investigation.

"Likely, debris from the engine came through," said Gagliano, who was a pilot in the Navy. "What part of the engine did it come from?"

They also worked with both engine manufacturers and the plane's frame makers.

"They come in because they have the technical expertise because they built the thing," Gagliano added, "but they have an incentive not to fully disclose all of the defects."

Once all of the information is gathered and analyzed, the NTSB will put out a probable cause of the accident and make necessary safety recommendations.