Southwest: Other carriers finding cracked engine fan blades

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DALLAS (AP) - Southwest Airlines says cracks in fan blades like the flaw blamed for a fatal accident have been found at other airlines, and the engine maker is considering recommending more frequent inspections.

Southwest's chief operating officer, Mike Van de Ven, says he knows of "maybe four or five" reports of cracked fan blades at other carriers.

The engines are made by a joint venture of General Electric and France's Safran, which didn't immediately return messages for comment Friday.

Van de Ven said Thursday that GE is considering recommending airlines inspect and lubricate fan blades every 1,600 to 1,800 flights instead of every 3,000 flights. He says Southwest is doing that.

In April a passenger died after a blade sheared off and a broken piece of the engine struck the Southwest plane.

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