SFO passengers relieved government to require inspections after fatal Southwest incident

Thursday, April 19, 2018
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Some people at SFO said they are disappointed to hear it took this long for officials to consider making inspections mandatory after a Southwest flight experienced engine failure, leaving a passenger dead.

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'

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

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

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.