The FAA has called on all airlines to inspect older Boeing 737 planes in light of the 1.5 metre hole that appeared in a Southwest Airlines plane mid-flight on the weekend.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency safety directive and Boeing is preparing to issue a similar recommendation for the world’s most common commercial plane.
Boeing overnight said it was developing a Service Bulletin to describe inspection techniques for Boeing 737s similar to the Southwest Airlines 737-300 which was forced to land in Arizona when a large hole appeared in the fuselage mid flight.
The 15-year-old jet in the Arizona incident had about 39,000 take-off and landing cycles. Cracks were reportedly found and repaired on the aircraft a year ago.
Southwest Airlines has inspected several of its 79 grounded aircraft already, finding cracks in the lap joints of three of them. The airlines says it expects to finish inspecting the rest of its aircraft by tomorrow night.
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