Monday, April 4, 2011
Southwest Airlines flights continue to be affected throughout the region after a 5-foot hole in the fuselage ripped open on a flight from Phoenix to Sacramento. The plane landed safely in Yuma on Friday with 118 passengers aboard. All older-model Boeing 737 planes are now being inspected by the National Transportation Safety Board. Robert Sumwalt with the NTSB says although the incident is troubling, 737 planes have had a very good safety record in the past decades.
"Overall. The 737's safety record has been very good. What we saw on Friday is totally unacceptable and we plan to get to the bottom of it so it doesn't happen again," he said.
Southwest says 75 flights were canceled nationwide today as a result. About 25 Southwest flights were delayed at Lindbergh Field so far today; but no flights were canceled.
So far, three more 737 aircraft have been grounded due to similar cracking. Boeing, which makes the 737 aircraft in question, announced that it wants inspections for cracks extended to three of its older 737 models operated by all carriers. That involves 80 U.S.-based aircraft, and 175 worldwide.