The agency issued the emergency directive after the maker of the engine, CFM International, called for the inspection of fan blades on CFM56-7B engines.
The GE-Safran partnership that built the engine said it was sending about 40 technicians to help with Southwest's inspections.
In the past two years, two Southwest Airlines 737s have had major engine failures that seemed to be the result of metal fatigue, according to evidence compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Bank executive Jennifer Riordan died after being sucked half-out of a U.S. passenger jet flying at 32,000 feet when shrapnel from a blown engine smashed a cabin window. Tuesday's tragic failure of the popular engine model resulted in the first passenger fatality on a US airline in the last nine years and the first accident-related passenger death ever recorded in the history of Southwest Airlines.
The agency says its order affects 352 engines in the USA and another 681 worldwide on "new generation" Boeing 737 jets. On Tuesday, debris broke through one of cabin windows, and one passenger died as a result.
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The coordinated 20-day measure partially resolves a gap in previous responses to the 2016 accident by the world's two largest and most influential aviation regulators, a person familiar with the discussions said and published documents show. The jet, which was headed from NY to Dallas, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
A Southwest Boeing 737-700 flying from New York City to Dallas suffered an uncontained engine failure Tuesday that appears to have been caused by a broken fan blade in the engine turbine. "Also, it recommends inspections by the end of August for fan blades with 20,000 cycles, and inspections to all other fan blades when they reach 20,000 cycles".
Ms Riordan, a mother of two from New Mexico, died despite attempts to revive her on the flight. CFM, which is jointly owned by General Electric Co (GE.N) and France's Safran (SAF.PA), produces the CFM56 engine in factories based both in the United States and in Europe.
Delta, with 370 of the same engines on its fleet of 737s, says it completed inspections of the engines past year, and are now ahead of FAA directives on the ultrasonic testing.
The FAA directive is broader in scope than the proposal introduced a year ago. There are now about 14,000 CFM56-7B engines in operation.
In addition, the engine manufacturer also recommends that operators verify the CFM56-7B engines with about 20,000 cycles as well.