On 17 April 2018, Southwest Airlines flight 1380 from New York to Dallas suffered an uncontained engine failure of the number 1 (left hand) engine. The aircraft diverted safely to Philadelphia. Southwest Airlines and the NTSB have confirmed that there was one passenger fatality aboard flight 1380.


Update 19 November 2019

The NTSB held its board meeting on Southwest flight 1380 on 19 November, 2019, discussing the probable cause of the accident. The NTSB found the probable cause of the accident to be:

a low-cycle fatigue crack in the dovetail of fan blade No. 13, which resulted in the fan blade separating in flight and impacting the engine fan case at a location that was critical to the structural integrity and performance of the fan cowl structure. This impact led to the in-flight separation of fan cowl components, including the inboard fan cowl aft latch keeper, which struck the fuselage near a cabin window and caused the window to depart from the airplane, the cabin to rapidly depressurize, and the passenger fatality.NTSB Southwest 1380 final report abstract

The NTSB issued 7 safety recommendations stemming from this accident, 5 to the FAA, 1 to Southwest Airlines, and 1 to the European Aviation Safety Agency. The NTSB recommends that the fan cowl for CFM-56 engines on the 737NG be redesigned and installed on any new-build 737NGS as well as retrofit to the existing 737NG fleet. Boeing has stated they are working on an improved design for the fan cowl structure.


Update 15 October 2019

On 19 November at 9:30 EST, the NTSB will hold its board meeting to determine the probable cause of the accident. The public docket of released materials from the investigation may be found here.


Southwest Flight 1380

The full path of Southwest flight 1380

Southwest Airlines flight WN1380 was operating from New York’s La Guardia Airport (LGA/KLGA) to Dallas’ Love Field (DAL/KDAL) when it experienced an uncontained engine failure to the number 1 (left) engine. The flight diverted to Philadelphia International Airport.

The flight departed New York at 14:43 UTC (10:43 EDT) and climbed through FL320 (32,000 ft) when the number 1 engine experienced a failure about 20 minutes after departure—shedding debris, including at least one piece that pierced the aircraft fuselage.

The flight crew initiated an emergency descent and requested vectors from air traffic control for the nearest airport, selecting to land and Philadelphia International Airport at 15:20 UTC (11:20 EDT).

The aircraft

N772SW, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700

The aircraft operating flight 1380 was N772SW (MSN 27880 L/N 601), a Boeing 737-700 powered by two CFM56-7B engines. The aircraft was delivered to Southwest Airlines in July 2000.

Flightradar24 data for Southwest 1380

Flightradar24 data for this flight includes Mode S data received from the aircraft and Multilateration (MLAT) data calculated based on Mode S data. This aircraft is not equipped with an ADS-B transponder. From the Mode S transponder we receive the flight’s call sign and reported altitude. Position and speed are calculated based on Multilateration. Vertical speed is calculated via the time difference of reported altitude values.

The following shows the aircraft’s altitude positions (in feet), ground speed (in knots) and vertical speed (in feet per minute) based on more granular data retrieved from the Flightradar24 network after the flight.

Altitude, ground speed, and vertical speed of WN1380

The maximum altitude received from the aircraft was 32,550 ft. Maximum calculated vertical speed was -7680 fpm.

Downloadable data

The basic and granular csv files differ in time frequency of position reports. The granular data includes much more frequent position reports retrieved from the Flightradar24 network after the flight.

Basic csv file

Granular csv file

KML file

 

Ian Petchenik’s love of aviation began at an early age growing up next to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As Flightradar24’s director of communications and co-host of the AvTalk podcast Ian now gets to share that passion for aviation with millions of Flightradar24 users and listeners around the world.

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