Southwest Airlines have found cracks in the fuselage of a further three of its Boeing 737′s, during a round of emergency aircraft checks after Friday’s crash-landing due to cracks, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
After a sudden drop in cabin pressure due to a crack in the plane’s fuselage, a Southwest Boeing 737 was forced to make a crash landing Friday 1 April, just minutes after taking off. None of the 118 passengers were harmed. Subsequent checks on Southwest planes prompted 600 flight cancellations over the weekend, with a further 60 jets due to be checked before Tuesday evening.
“We are taking every precaution we can to ensure that our operation is safe,” Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s executive vice-president, confirmed in a statement last night after media reports drew attention to possible maintenance lapses.
This is not the first time Southwest has got into scrapes over plane-maintenance: in 2008 the company faced a $10.2 million penalty (later reduced to $7.5 million) from the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to carry out mandatory fuselage inspections on a number of its Boeing 737′s.