Actually that is one of a very long list of things that I wish reporters knew about.
I would like to have some real information about what happened to the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, aside from the 2 words, “metal fatigue” in relation to a fan blade. But most stories don’t even mention the First Officer of Flight 1380 by name – His name is Darren Ellisor. The Captain on the flight was Captain Tammie Jo Shults, but you probably already knew that.
I want to say that high-bypass turbofan blades are replaced regularly, but I’m actually not sure if that is true, or how it is handled for a CFM engine. I do know that on at least some engines the blades are replaced during an engine overhaul. (I don’t remember if the fan blades replaced or if only compressor and/or turbine blades are replaced.) Overhauls happen regularly according to FAA dictated schedules, or if problems are discovered.
Tam has an interesting take on the fact that most people are oblivious to the dangers that surround them in everyday life. Forget about the dangers involved in sealing yourself in an aluminum can, and traveling at an altitude of 30,000 feet or so, at several hundred miles per hour. I suppose that oblivion has something to do with why everyone wants to “feel safe.” (As opposed to them actually being safe.)
Here is a short video on the CFM56 engine. The engine that caused the problems on Southwest 1380 was a CFM56-7B. It isn’t great, and it leaves out some of the more interesting facts, but it is only 3 minutes long. There are some good videos out there, but they tend to be long, and the short videos tend to be ads. This is a CFM video about CFM engines, but it is remarkably free of advertising insanity. There are some interesting videos on the testing done on an engine before it is certified – bird strike tests, etc. They are easy to find.