A woman has died after being partially sucked out of a plane window when one of its engines blew up in mid-air.
Southwest Airlines officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident. “Had this window not been punctured, today’s event would just been another emergency landing”, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said.
He said there was a fuel leak in one of the engines when firefighters arrived and a small fire was quickly brought under control.
She is the first death from an in-flight incident in company history, the airline said.
She was one of the first female F-18 pilots and became an instructor before she left the Navy in 1993 and joined Southwest, according to the blog. She walked through the aisle and talked with passengers after the plane touched down.
Passenger Alfred Tumlinson added: “She has nerves of steel”. Flight 1380 wasn’t so lucky. “I mustered up the courage to assure him I was not and that I was interested in flying”, she said in the book. At this point, flight attendants attended to the crying passengers.
When she was asked if the plane was on fire, she said: “No, it’s not on fire but part of it’s missing”.
Passengers inside the cabin describe scenes of chaos, with “blood everywhere” and people desperately trying to get Ms Riordan back inside.
“I didn’t know if we were going to be running into a building”.
The passengers were praised for their efforts to save Mrs Riordan, giving her CPR after they managed to pull her back in and plug the hole in the window. Many said they feared the plane was going to crash. “We’ve got injured passengers”, says the voice from the plane. “Several medical personnel on the flight tended to the injured passenger”, Johnson said.
Passengers did “some pretty awesome things under some pretty hard circumstances”, Thiel said.
The crew started yelling to brace for impact as the plane came in for a landing, Bourman said. It was the first passenger fatality in a USA airline accident since 2009, Sumwalt said. The plane is a twin-engine Boeing 737 that is powered by the CFM56-7B engine made by CFM International.
The Boeing 737 is the best-selling airliner in the world and thousands of Australians fly domestically on the plane every day.
Sumwalt said the investigation could take 12 to 15 months to complete.
Southwest Airlines experienced an unrelated safety incident early on Wednesday when a Phoenix-bound flight was forced to land at Nashville airport shortly after takeoff because of bird strike. “We lost an engine mid-flight and they guided us back to Philly”.