Back to Squawk list
  • 6

Southwest Boeing MAX 8 lost a fan blade on climb out from New Orleans

Southwest flight #WN554 quickly returned to New Orleans following a technical issue. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Billy Koskie 35
Probably would have been more accurate for the headline if it said 'lost fan blade after bird strike on climb out'. Details matter.
Chris Cotter 12
My dad used to say "the truth doesn't sell papers."
MrTommy 4
Yup. "If it bleeds, it leads".
sparkie624 8
That much is certain... One thing I have learned over the years... Reporters are clueless on the way planes work! They Assume (Ass-U-&-Me)
hwh888 13
Let's at least make a feeble attempt at accurate lead in reporting...........
sparkie624 1
After all of these news reports of everything over the decades, I am not sure we could handle accuracy after so many years... I mean really... We want the news to report something accurately!
Burke Files 5
I sent in a correction to the WSJ. Their article on inflation said prices were coming down. WRONG - inflation was just increasing at a slower pace. UGH. In accuracy versus timeliness, much is sacrificed, but as was done here it also must be corrected. Thank You.
Chris B 12
The aircraft isn’t even a year old yet. That’s nothing and there’s no basis to believe there’s a maintenance issue.
Bird strikes are damaging. Ask Sully about that.
sparkie624 -1
A lot of maintenance can happen in 1 year... Many times it takes a year to get the bugs out of them
ajechase74 5
I had two co-workers on this flight. After a few minutes of the flight crew getting the passengers and plane in order, it was announced by the captain that the reason for the issue was due to a bird strike. Some pretty hefty bird around the gulf coast, so losing a fan blade due to a bird strike doesn’t surprise me at all.

Kudos to the flight crew for being professional and keeping the passengers calm, safe and bringing them back to the gate without any other incident or injuries.
Tyler Ballance 7
I worked at a newspaper and a TV station back in the 1970s. Not once did I hear anyone say or even express the sentiment that, if it bleeds it leads, or truth doesn't sell papers. Quite the opposite was the truth. Almost all of the reporters and editors at the paper always careful to report accurately took great care to check sources and facts before anything was published. At the TV station, our anchorman held that post for nearly thirty years. People would often try to feed him salacious material or try to get him to put graphic material in his nightly news cast, but he always took great care to report what was relevant, without sensationalism and, something rarely seen today, he simply did not report information that would harm the families of political or public figures. That man was as close to a saint as I have seen here on this earth.

Today, almost all of our newspapers, TV and radio stations have been gobbled up by corporations. None of those give a damn about accurate or ethical reporting. Indeed, most TV and radio news departments have been eliminated and they instead carry a feed provided by some sub-contractor or their parent corporation (or both).

A reporter typically is paid less than $35,000 per year. In rural areas like where I now reside, the few locally hired reporters are not reporters at all but merely web page editors who take whatever news releases they get and just parrot that on their corporate owned websites. You can't soar with eagles when you work with turkeys.

We all read crap on news sites that we do not pay for. The subscription models mostly fail, unless you are the Wall Street Journal or other big names. So how can we restore the American press to its former level of integrity and credibility?

One step would be to create an industry run accreditation organization modeled after the AICPA for accountants. As it is now, the corporations hire people who don't even speak English as their primary language to post reports on their websites, so we are frequently seeing headlines and articles that are fraught with errors.

Each of us must tell our Congressional reps to break-up the media cartels and re-write the FCC laws so that only independent ownership of a radio station, TV station and newspaper will be allowed, and no entity shall be able to own more than a single radio station, TV station or newspaper. This will restore the independence of the Press in America and destroy the corporate stranglehold on information that now exists.

There is a very good reason why the Press was originally regarded as, the Forth Estate. For our People to be part of a self-governing Republic, they must be well informed and today's media is so full of propaganda, nobody trusts anything that they read or see from today's corporate corrupted media.
Frosty1025 2
All very nice and accurate points you make. But unfortunately, good luck with having Congress do anything to fix anything, they are all in one way or another profiting from the chaos and dishonesty in reporting.

Just turn the news at home for one and two weeks and you will see that nothing reported by the news outlets has made a dent on reporting accurate stories of events.
AWAAlum 2
Knowing absolutely zero about this topic - please don't come after me for asking - but I simply don't understand why something, i.e., screening or something, isn't installed across the opening to prevent anything larger than a bug being ingested. Is that idea simply ridiculous?
Brian Chandler 3
Screening would, amongst other things I am probably missing:

1) Restrict and disrupt the airflow into the engines, lowering performance

2) Be an added weight, reducing performance

3) A bird hitting a screening of some kind at 200+ mph will still shred the bird into bits which will still be injested by the engine.
sparkie624 1
There are quite a few reasons... But keep in mind at Altitude the engine would most certainly ice up... once it ices up it would do one of 2 things.. Smother the engine and shut it down due to no air, or Ice break loose and get ingested into the engine causing even worse damage. Birds would do much the same as ice, block airflow and ultimately still go through the engine anyway.
AWAAlum 4
Thanks for the concise, clear explanation, Sparkie. Makes perfect sense.
Byron May 1
Could that be the first ever failure/liberation of a composite fan blade? Even going back to the GE90? Hope it was a huge bird because otherwise all fan blades are supposed to be able to take it. At least the containment seemed to work.
Em Fairley 1
Another click bait squark headline from the Boeing hating MH370. Failure to mention the bird strike which resulted in the blade loss is absolutely typical of him
John Prukop 1
The pilot of the Cessna 340 that recently had a bad-time in the air in N711CB could REALLY use one of these! For details, see the Dan Gryder 'Probable Cause' installment on YouTube...
donnnell 1
A question for those in the know - Were this engine's fan blades made of "old school" metal or are they composite? I ask because in the "olden days" (when all blades were metal) they used to show us videos of bird ingestions causing little engine damage. The bird would simply pass through, being reduced to ever thinner slices through each metal bladed turbine. They suggested there was no need to routinely abort a flight following an ingestion. Continue your flight, land only in the rare instance of engine damage. I realize that those videos were produced and distributed by the engine manufacturers and likely showed the best of outcomes. It may be my imagination but, it seems as though there have been an increasing number of bird ingestions resulting in catastrophic engine failures. I wonder if composite blades are more fragile (less robust, more susceptible to damage) than metal blades. What do the statistics show?
Peter Fuller 2
Composite blades: “The fan has flexible blades manufactured by a resin transfer molding process, which are designed to untwist as the fan’s rotational speed increases.”
sparkie624 0
That will be an Engine Change... The vibration alone would destroy the engine before they even realized what happened... But I can fully understand how this kind of things happen at SWA! Glad the plane landed safely with no injuries.
sparkie624 0
Looked at it closer,,, The Birdstrike alone would not in anyway caused a properly installed blade to come out.. there is something deeper to this story!
David Roberts 2
linbb -9
So Southwest has problems maintaining there aircraft? Funny first I have seen posted about that. Also wouldnt an engine change be in order even without loosing a blade? And the final why is it unusual it lost a blade?
sparkie624 3
They have lots of problems maintaining them... I used to work for them... I quit when I was assigned to clean oil out from under an engine so that the crew would not write it up because they did not have an available engine... Seeing frequent drinking while on the clock. No.. I have no respect for there maintenance and why I left the company... when you work for them, maybe you can evaluate them instead of slamming someone for something you have no clue about
crbascott 1
How long ago did you work for them?
sparkie624 1
I worked for them for 3 Months... I have 20 years working on 737's (-200's all the way up to the -700's). I have 20 more years working the Desk in Maintenance Control and Maintenance Planning! I have had my license now for 40 years and I know right from wrong and I know when I am being told to do something illegal.
AWAAlum 1
Are you told to do something illegal often? And, if I may ask, how do you handle that situation when you are. Sounds like a sticky situation for an employee.
sparkie624 1
Very Sticky... I didn't stay around a long enough to find out how often... But the loose maintenance and being assigned to clean oil out from under a known leaking engine so the crew would not write it us is just unheard of anywhere else... I decided then enough was enough and went back to where I came from while the slot was still open!
sparkie624 1
Another note... You were required to do a Main When change in 30 minutes... That is from the time that you decide it needs to be changed, go get the Tire and Jack til the time the log book is signed off, and parts tags completed.
sparkie624 1
8 or 9 years ago... But I hear not much has changed.
ko25701 -1
The larger jet engine intakes are scooping up birds like a fish net! Look at how small the intakes were on the early 737s.
Peter Fuller 1
Prop diameter on some turboprops eg Q400 is considerably larger than any turbofan intake. Are they “scooping up birds like a fish net!”?
sparkie624 1
The Intake is totally different... For Ground ops, the Dash's have a lower bypass door that when Birds or other debris is ingested into the intake 90% is ejected out the bottom and no damage, however, some times it does make it into the engine and can still do extensive damage to the engine.
kelse jennings 1
Wonder how many bird strikes were encountered in DC 9's and MD 10's?
sparkie624 1
DC9's not as Much... Engines were high and mounted on the tail. Where there were Bird Engestions, they did not usually do nearly the damage that gets done with the High Bypass fans! The 737-200's and DC9's seemed to handle birds better as well.
capcmdr 0
so, how do you lose a fan blade, then return to service 3 days later?? Something is lacking in the report details..
Brian Chandler 4
The part you're missing is you can't do math. It happened on 12/20 and per the article was scheduled to return to service on 12/25.

25-20 /= 3.

Also it didn't return to service until 12/26, a full 146hrs after the incident. MSY is a pretty large outstation for WN, and a simple engine swap was performed in 6 days, which is pretty standard time, and definitely could have been handled faster but they likely had to ship the engine in
Jed Dunkin 1
I remember back in 1975 I was in the Navy and another shipmate and I were being sent back to the US. We were at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and our final destination was San Francisco International Airport. We wound up sitting at the base 3 days because the Evergreen Airlines ( I can’t recall if it was a DC 8 or Boeing 707) had blown an engine and they had to replace it. So if they did it in 3 days I think 6 days would be plenty of time.
John Taylor 2
I've been involved in many engine changes on the USAF KC-135E aircraft and we get it done in one day. Those engines were the PW-TF-33 P-9's.
David Roberts -1
msetera -3
They found it and superglued it back in.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Brian Chandler 8
What a idiotic troll comment
sparkie624 2
It is an issue with any Wing mounted engine and many tail engines as well... Why Isolate the "MAX". While it has had its issues, it has not had more birds than other similar mounted engines. Your statement is a quite a bit of an out field Strike!
John Taylor 1
Yeah, the Max design failures cause it to ingest birds where no other airplane does. Moron.
AWAAlum 2
Stooping to call people names is something school children do. There are more charitable ways to make your point


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.