SFO passengers relieved government to require inspections after fatal Southwest incident

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is now working on a directive for high-tech inspections on all engine fan blades like the one involved in the fatal Southwest emergency that left a woman dead.

This is the second engine failure for Southwest Airlines in two years. Federal officials started debating a directive to inspect fan blades after the first failure and now they will make it an official order for airlines.

RELATED: Woman killed in Southwest plane tragedy called 'selfless'
EMBED More News Videos

Woman killed in Southwest plane tragedy called 'selfless.' Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 4pm on April 18, 2018.

Travelers at SFO Thursday morning were disappointed to hear it took this long. "That's horrible. I don't know much about planes, but I know safety is important to every airline," passenger Melchie Nelson said.

It's not an easy inspection. Aviation expert named Steve Ganyard explained on Good Morning America Thursday what it takes to find the tiny cracks. "They're behind the blades so you can't look so fine you can see them. You have to get in with an ultrasound, the same technology you look at a baby," Ganyard said.

RELATED: Hidden crack in engine blade discovered in Southwest 737 jet
EMBED More News Videos

The National Transportation Safety Board late Wednesday said one of the 40 blades inside the engine of the Southwest 737 jetliner snapped off the hub. Investigators say that was caused by metal fatigue. They discovered a tell tale crack, which then caus

Some passengers said they feel some relief knowing the government will be forcing the inspections. "Well that would be a good thing, but it is still scary. Flights are delayed and there is no full disclosure most of the time," airline passenger Priyanka Chakrabarti said.

RELATED: FAA to order inspections on engine fan blades like one involved in fatal failure
EMBED More News Videos

Federal airline regulators say they will order inspections on engine fan blades like the one involved in fatal failure on a Southwest Airlines plane.

Some airline customers ABC7 News spoke with Thursday morning said they can't stop flying because of what happened, but Tuesday's fatal flight was on their minds. "I do feel for the passengers who have been on rocky flights before. I know at any point and time things can go wrong," airline passenger Brannan Matherson said.

Click here for more on emergency landings in the Bay Area and across the country.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.