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Metal weakness under microscope after deadly Southwest incident

The recent tragedy involving a woman's death onboard a Southwest Airlines flight sent shock waves across New York and the nation, and the incident is raising important questions about the engine safety of today's commercial aircraft. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we understand the types of tragedies that can result from aircraft design defects, and we have helped many clients and family members seek recourse in the wake of plane crashes and related incidents.

Per Bloomberg, metal weakness, which was a factor in the aforementioned jet engine explosion, resulted in part of the plane's engine breaking apart and scattering, ultimately leading to the death of a female passenger seated next to the window. Part of the engine broke apart and shattered the plane's window, leading to the passenger's death after she suffered blunt-impact trauma to her head, neck and body.

Part of the problem with metal weakness in airplanes is that it can prove tremendously difficult to detect. Even when using today's most state-of-the-art technology, metal weakness can be difficult to spot, and, in many cases, such design flaws can go undetected for years. A crack in the fan blade of the Southwest plane's engine, which is receiving much of the blame for the incident, would not have been visible to safety professionals performing a visual inspection of the aircraft.

Investigators looking into a separate, 2016 engine failure incident now believe that metal weakness may have also been a factor in that event. They noted that they uncovered a crack in the engine's metal blade during their investigation that may have played a role in the engine failing. More about commercial airline accidents is available on our web page.


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