National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
In its investigation of an uncontained engine failure that occurred on a Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas, Texas (Love Field), to Little Rock, Arkansas, on November 17, the National Transportation Safety Board is searching for engine components that fell to the ground in a sparsely populated rural area of Texas.
The incident, in which pieces of the fan blades and the spinner separated from the #2 (right) engine, occurred at 2:54 pm over Hunt County, Texas, at an altitude of 25,000 feet during the climb phase of flight. None of the 133 passengers or 5 crewmembers on board the B-737-300 (N676SW) aircraft were injured. The crew shut down the damaged engine and returned safely to Dallas on power from the #1 (left) engine. In addition to the damage to the engine and its housing components, the aircraft sustained minor damage to the fuselage.
NTSB engineers developed a Ballistic Trajectory Analysis using data such as the aircraft ground track, speed, prevailing winds and other factors, to create an area where the engine pieces are most likely to be found. The area is approximately 0.4 miles wide and 1.7 miles long and is located on private property.
The NTSB asks anyone volunteering to search for these items to respect private property rights and get permission of the landowner before searching on another's property.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.