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Speeches

Board Meeting: Left Engine Failure and Subsequent Depressurization, Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, Boeing 737-7H4, N772SW - Closing Statement
Robert L. Sumwalt
NTSB Boardroom and Conference Center, Washington, DC
11/19/2019

​In closing, I would like to thank the staff for your hard work. I also want to thank my colleagues for their preparation going into the board meeting, and for the good debate and discussion.

My special thanks to Bill English, who served as investigator-in-charge. But nothing gets done around here by one person; everything happens through team effort. On behalf of the Board, a sincere “thank you” not only to the investigative staff but to the support and program staff as well.

The recommendations we adopted today are a reminder that it is not enough to do our best to prevent a failure; we also must actively work to identify ways to minimize the effects of a failure if one occurs.  These recommendations show the way toward greater safety even when a fan blade out event occurs.

The best case is for every FBO to be prevented. But if one does occur, everything possible should be done to mitigate the consequences of the failure. Today we recommended that engine and aircraft manufacturers develop more robust designs of the nacelle structure and its components that account for critical FBO impact locations. That translates to a better chance that damage to the aircraft will be minimized during an FBO event, improving the safety of the flying public.

We have a saying at the NTSB: “From tragedy we gain knowledge to improve the safety of us all.” That is what we have tried to do here today – to learn from this accident so that others will not have to endure similar tragedies in the future.

We stand adjourned.