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Southwest Grounds 81 737s  
User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 48872 times:

Following today's fuselage related incident ( WN SMF-PHX FLT.-812 Hole In Fuselage (by SMF711 Apr 1 2011 in Civil Aviation) ), WN has grounded 81 737s. This report comes via a corp newswire. Expect more info soon.


The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
227 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30388 posts, RR: 84
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 48814 times:
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Nothing on Google News as of yet.

I'm assuming these are all 737-300s, like the one that made the emergency divert?


User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 48670 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
I'm assuming these are all 737-300s, like the one that made the emergency divert?

I suppose, but the airline has not specified

PR


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Southwest Airlines Working With NTSB, FAA, and Boeing to Investigate Cause of Depressurization Event
Carrier To Begin Aggressive Inspection of Fleet to Ensure Safety
DALLAS, April 2, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) said early this morning it is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to determine the cause of a depressurization event during a Phoenix-Sacramento flight on Friday that diverted to Yuma, Ariz., for a successful emergency landing. Further, the carrier has decided to keep a subset of its Boeing 737 fleet out of the flying schedule to begin an aggressive inspection effort in cooperation with Boeing engineers.

"The safety of our Customers and Employees is our primary concern, and we are grateful there were no serious injuries," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We have launched personnel to Yuma to begin the investigation process with the NTSB, FAA, and appropriate parties to determine the cause of the depressurization."

There were 118 passengers on board and five Phoenix-based crew members aboard Flight 812. Preliminary reports indicated the aircraft lost pressure and oxygen masks were deployed. After the plane landed safely in Yuma, the crew confirmed a hole in the top of the aircraft, approximately mid-cabin. One flight attendant was treated at the scene for a minor injury, as was at least one passenger. No injuries required transport to the hospital. The Company arranged for a Southwest Airlines aircraft to transport the Customers from Yuma to Sacramento last night.

Southwest is working with Boeing on an inspection regimen for the 81 affected Boeing 737 aircraft in the fleet, which are covered by a set of Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directives aimed at inspections for aircraft skin fatigue. These aircraft will be inspected over the course of the next several days.

Southwest is working aggressively to minimize Customer inconvenience. Customers are encouraged to check flight status at www.southwest.com before heading to the airport, and any inconvenienced Customers will be reaccommodated.

SOURCE Southwest Airlines



The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1912 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 48595 times:

A few details.... WN is working on an inspection regimin on 81 737-300s that are covered by a set of FAA Airworthiness Directives aimed at aircraft skin fatigue. Each aircraft will remain out of service until it is inspected over the course of the next several days.


My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17046 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 48571 times:

Wonder for how long the fleet will be grounded. The effect on their operations will be quite excessive.

[Edited 2011-04-02 01:10:21]


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4971 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 48264 times:

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
Wonder for how long the fleet will be grounded. The effect on their operations will be quite excessive.

I doubt the mentioned aircraft will be grounded for long, as I am sure WN has every available qualified hand working on them. As far as I am concerned, WN has done the right thing, and I applaud them for taking the necessary steps to ensure safety.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1912 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 47973 times:

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
Wonder for how long the fleet will be grounded. The effect on their operations will be quite excessive.

Well, the whole fleet is not being grounded... 81 737-300s are. They are grounded until they are inspected, which is happening as we read this. My guess would be 1 or 2 days per plane. Also, WN operates a reduced schedule on Saturdays, so though there may be an impact on ops, it won't be a hard hit. Sunday? Maybe, but they can reroute planes for Sunday on Saturday. That'll give them a day to come up with a plan. Chances are, we will see aircraft swaps routing the 81 planes through MX bases. All in all, I'll guess we won't even notice any impact on ops.



My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
User currently offlineAlgoz66 From UK - England, joined Oct 2010, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 47875 times:

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 6):
All in all, I'll guess we won't even notice any impact on ops.

I'm sure that not having 81 aircraft at their disposal WILL have a noticeable impact on ops. Otherwise they wouldn't need the aircraft in the first place!


User currently offlinemtnwest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 47683 times:
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Well 81 is like, what?, 18% of entire fleet? And it is not like all 550 a/c are active at once anyway. At PAE the other day, there were 4 or 5 WN 737s there getting worked on. So I tend to think initial impact wont be THAT extreme, but to the ones inconvenienced, it will be.
I certainly hope it gets resolved quickly.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlinemcoatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 189 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 47017 times:

I've been wondering this for a while now (actually after the glut of UA 747 in TPA threads revealed WN as a customer as well), but where does WN have their heavy maintenance done? I understand that PEMCO does some work for them, but with a fleet 550 strong they must have a dedicated facility somewhere else as well?

I can't say I've ever seen a WN hangar or even seen a picture of one. Is it all contracted out?


User currently offlinezainmax From Pakistan, joined Jul 2009, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 46501 times:

This area is not covered under lap joint SB. So what other SBs, Airworthiness Directives are issued for this part of the fuselage? Here in PIA we do NDT/Eddy-current after a specific period of time for metal fatigue.
Inspecting 81 B733 aircraft can take a long time.
By the way WN also suffered with the fuselage hole in 2009.



ZAINMAX APPRENTICE MECHANIC - PIA
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1448 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 46047 times:

Is this a previous AD that WN didn't comply with? Are we looking at another round of fines for lack of maintenance oversight by WN?

User currently offlinemarkalot From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 46043 times:

Quote:
I doubt the mentioned aircraft will be grounded for long, as I am sure WN has every available qualified hand working on them. As far as I am concerned, WN has done the right thing, and I applaud them for taking the necessary steps to ensure safety.

The right thing is making sure this doesn't happen in the first place. At this point it seems only a matter of time before we have a more serious fatigue issue that results in casualties. Someone needs to do a better job of monitoring these things and not waiting until after an incident happens to ground a fleet and do inspections.



M a r k
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7965 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 44042 times:

I figured they are 737-300's because wasn't Southwest one of the very buyers of the plane? It's possible that the 81 planes grounded were among the oldest 733's in the WN fleet still in service.

User currently offlineGizmoNC From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 43528 times:

Just a quick check of www.flystl.com it shows 6 cancelled inbounds and 6 cancelled outbounds. Typical day in and out of STL for a SAT so this is just 10% of the total SWA flights in and out of STL.

User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1448 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 42475 times:

Quoting GizmoNC (Reply 14):

Just a quick check of www.flystl.com it shows 6 cancelled inbounds and 6 cancelled outbounds. Typical day in and out of STL for a SAT so this is just 10% of the total SWA flights in and out of STL.


Wouldn't those be SCHEDULED flights that are xncld versus a flight not scheduled to operate on a particular date? 81 airplanes is a big deal.


User currently offlineDLdiamondboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 42344 times:

One must also remember that WN has a very high aircraft utiization of aircarft as compared to other airlines. Which means that these birds are most likely getting close to cycling out of the certificated cycle life. An aircraft fuselage is similiar to a ballon constantly being inflated and deflated introducing metal fatigue.

User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4971 posts, RR: 28
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 40266 times:

Quoting markalot (Reply 12):
The right thing is making sure this doesn't happen in the first place. At this point it seems only a matter of time before we have a more serious fatigue issue that results in casualties. Someone needs to do a better job of monitoring these things and not waiting until after an incident happens to ground a fleet and do inspections.

I totally agree with you 110%. However, we don't know the circumstances involved in this incident. Speculation of course says it was likely fatigue. But, there are other possibilities involved. I am not an engineer, but I have built the 737, and have some experience with the bird. I am sure Boeing is all over this, and they will get to the bottom of it. I have said it a gazillion times... Everyone needs to be proactive in all industries to prevent any type of accident. Sadly, it usually takes a serious accident to see changes made.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinejetfuel From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 2195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 39671 times:

Quoting DLdiamondboy (Reply 16):
One must also remember that WN has a very high aircraft utiization of aircarft as compared to other airlines. Which means that these birds are most likely getting close to cycling out of the certificated cycle life. An aircraft fuselage is similiar to a ballon constantly being inflated and deflated introducing metal fatigue.

Planes has 39,768 cycles and 48,722 hours so its not new, but far from being close to being out of total service life hours.

By comparison the 737-200 from Aloha that had the roof blow off was 19 years old at the time of the accident and had 89,090 cycles


Edit FYI N387SW The SW 733 flight 2294 that experienced rapid decompression in 2009 had Total hours of 50,500 and 42,500 cycles. It was almost the same age as this 733 as well. Just an interesting by point



[Edited 2011-04-02 09:02:52]


Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
User currently offlinekeagkid101 From Portugal, joined Mar 2010, 305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 38445 times:

Only four arrivals canceled at BWI, and only five departures. WN must be handling this situation well.

User currently offlineskoker From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 439 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 37932 times:

Right now, FlightAware is showing that systemwide 167 B733 flights have been cancelled so far, and the press release stated that they're expecting up to 300 flights to be cancelled today. No idea about tomorrow.

User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 37933 times:

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 6):
All in all, I'll guess we won't even notice any impact on ops.

Well, if you don't happen to think there will be any impact on ops (bloody strange conclusion!) could you perhaps enlighten me as to a good reason why then WN are flying them? I mean, why fly 81 737's around when you don't really need them???


User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21456 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 37744 times:

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 22):
Well, if you don't happen to think there will be any impact on ops (bloody strange conclusion!) could you perhaps enlighten me as to a good reason why then WN are flying them? I mean, why fly 81 737's around when you don't really need them???

Let's see.

I run a sandwich shop.

I have 5 employees. They work shifts 10 hours a day, seven days a week, with 2 on at all times, 3 during weekday lunch.

One calls in sick for 2 days. The others pick up the slack during that period.

Could the place run with 4 people for a year? No. Could it run with 4 for 2 weeks? Possibly. Could it run with 4 for 3 days? Yes, especially if one of those days was a weekend. It wouldn't be optimal, it would cost a bit more, but it would work out.

That's WN's situation. Less that 20% of it's fleet will be grounded for fewer than 3 days. They should be able to adjust for a very short amount of time.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineDLdiamondboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 37604 times:

Does anyone know what the # certificated cycles for Boening narrowbodies? I thought it was 75K. Does anyone know the skin thickness at the faulure point?

User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5789 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 36886 times:

According to a blog at the Star-Telegram this morning:
"Also, the carrier said it will be cancelling about 300 of its 3,200 flights today and that customers may experience sporadic delays up to two hours on some flights."
http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_t...ft-to-check-for-metal-fatigue.html



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
25 DLATLOpsSup : That's a pretty good analogy...now "Let's see"... Multiply your single sandwich shop by, lets say 100 around the country, increase your 5 EEs to 10,
26 LV : I think I've seen a WN hanger at MDW. They probably have them at DAL and a few other places. Also, I think I saw a WN plane on the AAR ramp at IND...
27 skyrat : I'm sorry, but you can't compare your sandwich shop to an airline. You have planes that are already scheduled for MX work that has to be done, so you
28 DLATLOpsSup : And passengers are being quoted in the news releases describing the opening as a "three foot hole", and "a hole the length of the open ceiling panel".
29 vegasplanes : WN has maintenance/hangers in PHX, HOU, DAL, MDW that I know of, maybe more places as well.
30 IADLHR : I just got a message on my cell phone, from a friend, who said, that on the Pete and Repeat news show, I dont know that one, except that it is one of
31 adamblang : Airplanes don't work 40 hour weeks - they're working all day, every day. If you work your sandwich shop employees all day, every day, they'll quit. A
32 WNCrew : Why is any of this even being debated? Southwest has already stated they'll be canceling several hundred flights as a result. Even if it's ONE flight
33 tdscanuck : Why do you think this will lead to a more serious fatigue issue? This is how damage tolerant designs are supposed to work...enough structure unzips t
34 okie : Not exactly sure but another thread on this site indicates a recent paint job. I know that in the past there have been some issues with improper pain
35 usa330300 : Are you serious? It will be a major impact. My concern is other airlines that operate the classic 737. Should they also be inspected?
36 CM767 : That is true, the company is called Aeroman.
37 Maverick623 : C'mon bro, April Fool's is over. I too used to manage a sandwich shop with about 10 total staff. I also used to manage about 50 people at one time in
38 Post contains links and images solnabo : Here´s som pics from AB Newspaper: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article12821355.ab Scary stuff
39 MSPNWA : Well, I'd say it has to be done. Two incidents in two years is too many. Hopefully this will help prevent further incidents, and that current operatio
40 swabrian : Here is Southwest's statement regarding the groundings SOUTHWEST AIRLINES WORKS TO MINIMIZE CUSTOMER DELAYS AS IT INSPECTS AIRCRAFT Customers Should C
41 AirCalSNA : Why inspect only the -300 series in their fleet? Does the FAA directive pertain only to the -300 series?
42 tomassjc : that is a gaping hole.....
43 DocLightning : It's going to be more than 18% of the ACTIVE fleet, though. I'm not sure what % of WN aircraft are generally out-of-service for routine maintenance a
44 hiflyer : 81 or 79 aircraft...do they still have 735 or is this count just the 733? From the incident that resulted in the landing at CRW with only a far smalle
45 jayp8890 : WN is AAR IND biggest HMV customer
46 QANTAS747-438 : Yeah, this is the impact I was expecting.... 4-5 cancellations in each city. BWI has over 140 flts. LAX has 100 flts. LAS has over 220 flts. I just m
47 Maverick623 : ABC15 reports that around 300 flights total have been canceled system wide. Significant, but not terrible.
48 BOACCunard : 79 airframes is less than half of WN's 733 fleet -- what is special about these 79? (I assume they are all 733s but I suppose it is possible they aren
49 Navigator : I suppose their 737-300:s will be grounded until they have determined there are no cracks in other 737-300:s that can lead to the potentially disastr
50 Post contains links ABQopsHP : http://flightaware.com/live/flight/S...9/history/20110402/1345Z/KCRP/KHOU I saw this one taxi out as I pulled into the employee lot. What surprised me
51 0NEWAIR0 : The entire 733 subfleet has been grounded for inspections. Grounding 1 or 2 aircraft is insignificant... but the grounding of 79 will lead to lots of
52 BMI727 : Everyone seems really quick to compare this to AQ243, to which my reply is that this is what should have happened to Aloha 243.
53 CFBFrame : Hey Doc- after reading your comments I went back and read the comment that caused your response. I did not read an implication of the facility. They
54 N1120A : I'm guessing they are the 79 oldest or the 79 with the highest number of cycles.
55 tdscanuck : How was this "potentially disastrous"? I agree it's not good, it's terrifying for passengers, it disrupts operations, and it's a PR nightmare. But it
56 kalvado : Maybe a stupid question - but would WN be able to tap into FL resources (e.g. backup aircraft, schedule optimization to free up some aircraft time) to
57 BMI727 : Theoretically, they could, though there may be too many issues of practicality to do so. Legally, the AirTran planes would be operated by AirTran cre
58 kevin752 : Isn't this the second time in about a year or so for WN to have the same thing happen to them. Kind of makes you wonder why this happened 2 times now.
59 BOACCunard : There are only 79 733s left in the WN fleet? Everything I can find says there are between 171 and 173 active.
60 Post contains images mcdu : Oh, perhaps this is how it is potentially disastrous? On this I do disagree. The airplane is equipped with negative pressure relief and positive pres
61 BMI727 : Except that in this case, it appears that everything worked exactly as it should, so in fact on the Southwest flight the aircraft and those onboard w
62 mcdu : Flying is a world of "what if's". So what if the fail safe's don't work next time? You have an airline that has had two of these issues in very short
63 PlanesNTrains : It isn't the entire subfleet, as there are around 170 733's in their fleet. I believe that the balance of the -300's have already had some/all of the
64 Maverick623 : I know we're getting into semantics here, but there was a potential disaster. It wasn't a high potential, but it was significantly more than if the s
65 Post contains links lexkid12300 : I can't believe this has happened to SW again. I just flew on Southwest a few weeks ago and noticed something odd with paint chipping/damage to one of
66 PlanesNTrains : Considering they own and operate the worlds largest fleet, doesn't it seem just a bit logical that they might be the most likely carrier to experienc
67 tdscanuck : Except this is a completely different failure mode from Aloha. There is no way for the hole on this WN aircraft to result in the Aloha type failure.
68 lexkid12300 : From picture records it appears the plane had been repainted within the past couple of months, so i'd assume it had been checked for metal damage befo
69 WNCrew : VERy well stated. The fact is, we don't know where this problem is coming from....yet, though some will happily jump to their own conclusions VERY qu
70 CFBFrame : Who are you? Are you a mechanic, or a maintenance engineer with WN? If not please keep these type comments to yourself because they are not based on
71 alevik : Interesting. I took the photo of N632SW on December 23, 2010, prior to the re-paint. Not the way you want to get views on your photos. Anyway - if you
72 lexkid12300 : i did gather all of my knowledge, enough so that i felt confident enough to make a "guess" that the cause of this incident is the same as the cause of
73 lexkid12300 : I should also add that the planes recent re-paint might have something to do with this incident, whether it means they inspected the plane and neglect
74 CFBFrame : You say this then you ask how the process is done? Validates my point about your analysis.
75 PlanesNTrains : Well, based on your "guess" you are calling for another $7.5M fine against the carrier. But hey, you might get lucky and be right. -Dave
76 DocLightning : Why not? No injuries, hull wasn't lost... Just a big scare.
77 alevik : Not sure how many images you have on the database or your motivation for for putting them there - it certainly for me wasn't that hoping the aircraft
78 QANTAS747-438 : Looks like the airplanes that are affected are N373SW, N374SW, N375SW, N378SW-N399SW and N600SW-N656SW. The airplanes are being chosen for inspection
79 Navigator : I think anyone with knowledge of history when it comes to fatigue cracking resulting in holes in the fuselage knows it is potentially very very dange
80 alitis : I think the addition of tear strips was in response to the determination of the cause of the Comet accidents over 40 yrs ago where cracks started in t
81 WNCrew : I'm not sure UA 811 should really be brought up here as the cause of the decompression was the poorly designed cargo door latching system, it had not
82 mcdu : Aside from the AA 757 recently it seems WN leads the pack in depressurization. You don't hear about Ryanair having these issues and they operate a si
83 Navigator : Those situations are not commonly reported because they almost never occur. And sensationalism or not this is still something you do not want too see
84 N62NA : Is this true? Source?
85 n471wn : This comment has nothing to do with the post and is just an unrelated cheap shot---we are talking MX---not commercials
86 Post contains links mcdu : This is a bit haunting that WN was cited for not doing fatigue crack testing previously and now they have Two cracks in short succession. http://www.
87 tdscanuck : Of course "fatigue cracking" as a general statement *can* be very very dangerous. That's like saying "flying can be very very dangerous." Nobody has
88 dynamicsguy : I'm pretty sure N62NA was asking for a source for your pretty direct accusation of corruption, not for the problems with their inspection program.
89 Post contains links kanban : while a lot are guessing and posturing, the press keeps looking http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42402550/ns/travel-news/ "We did find evidence of widespre
90 KarlB737 : All right I have read all the posts and then I went back and reread all the posts. One component in the discussion keeps popping up here and there, an
91 Aaron747 : NTSB staff have unfortunately reported that they found multi-site damage along lap joints in the subject aircraft.
92 Post contains links KarlB737 : Courtesy: Associated Press via Peoria Journal Star NTSB: Southwest Jet Had Pre-Existing Fatigue http://hosted2.ap.org/ILPEE/a227c868...d-46f889df033c
93 Navigator : It is interesting that you take time to slice my message like this. Unfortunately I do not have time to take this any further and I hope that you rec
94 Post contains links swabrian : Here is our latest statement SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CONTINUES INSPECTIONS OF 737-300 FLEET, WORKS TO MINIMIZE CUSTOMER INCONVENIENCE FROM FLIGHT CANCELLAT
95 Post contains images Navigator : It lookes like the crack in this plane has passed stringers and squares where it should have stayed if the fail safe design had worked as best as it c
96 N62NA : Correct. Corruption???? Source?????
97 Post contains links mcdu : I highly suspect you are well aware of the accusations against WN. The threats made to the FAA whistleblowers and the ensuing revelation of a too coz
98 flashmeister : I fail to see how one has anything really to do with the other, especially at this point where AirTran shareholders have already approved the merger.
99 B737Mech : MCDU, what airline do you work for? Your hate for WN is obvious. You make accusations about possible lack of maintenance and inspections being done. D
100 CoachClass : Are these SWA maintenance and inspections outsourced overseas?
101 B737Mech : Very little, we only outsource to one vendor outside of the U.S. We have three vendors in the U.S. that we currently use.
102 Post contains links BNAtraveler : Interestingly it looks like UA is accepting WN tickets as standby. In normal operation, the two airlines do not have an interline or ticket lift agree
103 mcdu : Or UA is being the humanitarian and allowing the displaced WN pax to ride standby on UA flights. Glad to see UA taking the high road when WN has thro
104 B737Mech : At $150 each way?
105 KarlB737 : The AirTran shareholders don't have the full or final say on this matter. Your statement implies that Mcdu is making up the quotes by saying that the
106 flashmeister : Of course they don't, but you still haven't explained how you feel that this incident in any way jeopardizes the merger. Using your logic, any issue
107 Post contains links 474218 : Latest report is that there was multi site cracking along a riveted fuselage lap joint. Which is exactly what caused the Aloha failure. Also 2 other
108 N62NA : Maybe I'm missing something here. The corruption you are pointing out is at the FAA, not at WN. From the MSNBC article: Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn.,
109 sccutler : Interesting, is it not, that the prior issue of relating to inspections, over which Southwest was fined, was one in which: (1) there were differing g
110 Magcheck : Mcdu is absolutely right to raise the issue given the airline's apparent deficits in this area historically. "Corruption" might be a little strong, bu
111 tozairport : It is also possible true that WN's maintenance is substandard, it's inspection procedures are glossed over (the only airline that I can think of that
112 KarlB737 : Because if it is felt that a potential "pattern" has developed in the performance of maintenance procedures it could spark a government inquiry or co
113 jetfuel : Please remember Southwest operates the world's biggest fleet of some 550 737. They have phenomenal utilisation and if any airline is to discover any p
114 737tdi : IMO, if you have never worked in commercial aircraft maintenance you should not speculate on an airlines maintenance. I.E. You probably have no idea o
115 ltbewr : There seems to be several areas of questions as to this incident that need to be examined thoroughly: Are there some serious engineering, design or m
116 Post contains links rottenray : Oy, vey! I haven't seen this much pure vitriol since I was out back shootin' at some food and up from the ground came a bubblin... Vitriol, that is...
117 sccutler : Define, "short period of time." Something like 2.1 million cycles since July, 2009 for the airline's aircraft. No one else comes even remotely close.
118 jreuschl : Does anyone know the typical replacement time for an aircraft's skin? Anyone know the reg numbers of the aircraft that have found cracks in? I was jus
119 tdscanuck : The link has gone dead...it just goes to the homepage. I hunted around and the only article I could find said they found cracks in two other aircraft
120 kanban : seems to me we had a 737 with crown skin shipping damage that was replaced on the line in 3 consecutive shifts... of course there were no interiors,
121 Post contains links 737tdi : A follow up to my above post. You will notice I mentioned that the cracks may not be visible. Here is a link, scroll down and read the report. "Subsur
122 lexkid12300 : Are the skin repairs done only by Southwest or do they have Boeing people come in to do the repairs? I remember a case where one airline had a Boeing
123 FlexJetOKC : I am sure Southwest Mechanics are working in coordination with Boeing about this incident. Say what!!? Where is your source for this? Your statement
124 Post contains links sasd209 : So according to this, they either should have known, or missed an earlier indication: "On Sunday, federal investigators examining the damaged plane i
125 Post contains links Asiaflyer : "Small, sub-surface cracks have been found in three more Southwest Airlines planes like those thought to have caused another to develop a hole in its
126 Burkhard : It makes good press and brings in a little money, so marketings departments dream.
127 QANTAS747-438 : Correct, the two do not have any agreement, but for the first time that I can remember, WN authorized accommodating our paxs on other carriers. Inter
128 Post contains links PurdueAv2003 : I've got to correct you here. The requirement for damage tolerant designs did not take effect until 1978. The 737 fuselage was type certificated in t
129 Post contains links Aaron747 : It's all over the place, reported by every major news outlet: NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said Sunday that the rip was a foot wide, and that it
130 330guy : I havent read the thread in the full due to its size, but I have one question that I cannot find the answer to. IF it is found that WN had skipped mx
131 Post contains images wn700driver : Damn, I thought my boss was a jerk! Must be some nice OT though... There are indeed two very large WN Hangars on the northwest side of DAL, over by W
132 Post contains links sccutler : The FAA has a broad range of measures available to it for enforcement of sanctions in the event maintenance (or other operational) lapses are found a
133 HAWK21M : Why only focus on the B733 & not the entire Series for Inspections.
134 dragon6172 : The following: Answers your questions of skipped mx. So the area that cracked was not subject to NDT inspections, and the cracks were not visible to
135 mcdu : Except outsourcing doesn't absolve WN of responsibility. Do you have proof the airplane was outsourced? If not your speculation is a poor attempt to
136 wn700driver : Didn't say anything like that. Doc seemed to imply that someone else was saying whatever work WN did/had done was done in El Salvador, and therefore,
137 markalot : At this point I don't think we should be discussing WN at all but rather the fatigue issue and the question of inspections ... are they thorough enoug
138 notaxonrotax : Tom, does this mean that the situation was more serious than initially assumed? Not to freak people out like you say.......but still! Perhaps the peo
139 okie : It appears a few on this thread have overlooked the facts. Quite frankly, WN has been the best source for Boeing and the FAA for discovering the effe
140 milesrich : From a report on MSNBC this morning, the planes being inspected are those that have not had their skin replaced. Is there an FAA directive to replace
141 tdscanuck : Oh, skins have definitely been replaced...it's just not a designed in feature (a skin is not an LRU). Usually it's done by the airline or an MRO. You
142 Post contains images Navigator : No I don´t think I need to do that. Failsafe in this Boeing fuselage design means that cracks are meant to stay in a square of the fuselage bordered
143 Navigator : The DC-8, DC-9 and MD-80:s (DC-9-80:s) and also the Airbus planes have more damage tolerant and robust fuselages when it comes to fatigue cracking co
144 Post contains links fxramper : Cracks found in 3 more Southwest planes.
145 WNCrew : I think these statements speak for themselves.
146 bestwestern : Are other 737 operators checking their fleets at this stage?
147 Navigator : There are mandatory inspection programmes when it comes to aging airplanes and planes with a certain number of cycles and age. The Aloha incident is
148 474218 : Additionally, all MRO's working on FAA registered aircraft must be FAA approved, no matter where they are located!
149 swabrian : Monday's update UPDATED 10:30am CDT Monday, April 4 -- Southwest Airlines said this morning that 57 aircraft have been inspected and returned to servi
150 CFBFrame : Why would that be? Have you determined that this particular circumstance is a new and grounding breaking area of crack investigation? And that is not
151 mcdu : Actually wasn't the whistleblowers from the FAA that alerted to the issues of WN Maintenance. These guys blew the lid and when they talked all of a s
152 PlanesNTrains : At this point, it is sounding like these cracks would not have been discovered in normal inspections. To keep talking about WN maintenance practices
153 Post contains images Navigator : You are hinting that I am exaggerating things here ... Is your phrasing ironic? The spread of this crack we seen here is in a wider area than you wou
154 sccutler : You have knowledge of this? Surely it is your duty to uncover it, come forth and fully disclose so that these unsavory occurrences can be put to an e
155 mcdu : I didn't write the articles, nor did I levy the largest fine in history of the FAA against WN. Those both came from the testimony of witnesses at the
156 Kaiarahi : What is it you don't understand about:
157 CFBFrame : No I don't people on here certainly claim it is going on!! No, no not in the least!!! I wanted to understand your point of view better. I thank you f
158 kanban : I was merely providing a flow time...and yes skins are not line replaceable units... elsewhere there are comments about the airlines heavy maintenanc
159 Navigator : This problem could have happened to any operator with high cycle airplanes. There is yet no evidence that Southwest has done anything wrong in this c
160 Post contains images PlanesNTrains : Exactly. Part of the seemingly "pro-WN" response is actually due to the starkly critical WN comments by a specific poster. In reality, if WN is at fa
161 n471wn : [quote=PlanesNTrains,reply=160]Part of the seemingly "pro-WN" response is actually due to the starkly critical WN comments by a specific poster. In re
162 CFBFrame : Checked the a/c report and found that the most recent N632SW crack was in the door area. The crack was discovered in 2010. Also saw quite a bit string
163 mcdu : The so called "enemies" of WN are just glad to see the truth about WN finally being revealed. The facts are out there. WN has two significant depress
164 CFBFrame : Okay, so you've said this so many times that WE GET IT!!!!! WN is a terrilbe airline that has failed to comply with required maintenace, and they HAV
165 JETSTREAM63 : Forgive me if I have missed it but is there any information on which WN 7373 tail numbers have had cracking issues found since the checks began ?
166 PurdueAv2003 : Initially, I correlated the fines and the 2009 event with this event and figured WN mx was to blame. However, as I've learned more about the event and
167 lexkid12300 : Watching the news tonight i heard that this is affecting all -300,-400 and -500 models (classics). My question is why not the -200? Maybe because ther
168 isitsafenow : Pardon my dimes worth, but agreeing somewhat with MilesRich, the the skin problems of the past few years seem to be with Boeings(717 too new to warra
169 Post contains images 474218 : Exactly what you would suspect on a 15 year old airframe. Because they were covered by a previous AD. The photo below shows the patches required to r
170 sccutler : See, this is fascinating. Apparently, this is a "truth" to which you, and a select few others, are privy... Really? Actually, no, but the record spea
171 Post contains images luv2cattlecall : According to our friends at timeanddate.com, there are less than 627 days in a year
172 Post contains links jreuschl : http://networkedblogs.com/gg8B6 According to FlightBlogger: "Southwest says the airframes in question were "designed differently in the manufacturing
173 F9Fan : OK, I am officially nervous now. During the inspection, they found that 4% of the older 737-300s had a problem that isn't normally looked at. I suspe
174 tdscanuck : Agreed. As I noted in a prior post, I was under the mistaken belief that the 737-Classic fuselage is damage tolerant...it's not. Both fail-safe and d
175 flyiguy : Just got word that 64 of 67 inspected aircraft will return to service tomorrow and we hope to be back to a full normal operating schedule tomorrow mor
176 notaxonrotax : Wow, not often you see old Tom with his pants down! You recognize the good ones easily though; the genuine gentlemen…….they´re good "winners" AN
177 Navigator : I´m back to what I said "Noone in the industry is used to cracks like this one" which is correct. There is a difference between being used to and be
178 HiJazzey : Navigator, No need to be confrontational. Your earlier post implied something more general than the above clarification.
179 Post contains images Navigator : Perhaps, but now I have explained what I meant
180 na : Southwest operates some of the oldest 733s still around and is the largest airline to operate pre-1990s 737s. Wonder if this leads to accelerated reti
181 Post contains images Baroque : On both accounts - as slightly bemused observer of this discussion of plans to make convertibles less popular! Does this all mean that planned life o
182 Burkhard : This morning I heared in the radio news that Boeing has recommended the inspections for 150 733,734 and 735 world wide to be done as soon as possible.
183 Navigator : I think the 737NG has basically the same fuselage design as the 737-300/400/500. Is that so?
184 Post contains links dynamicsguy : In general, but the details are different. Boeing is preparing a service bulletin for this problem which covers just 175 737 classics, across the -30
185 Navigator : Thank you dynamicsguy. I went through the slides fast. Damage tolerant and failsafe are different things but a structure can be both. The 737 fuselage
186 tdscanuck : Not really for this type of construction in general, but it's possible that it would lower the inspection interval for a particular family of airplan
187 Post contains links cjpark : Yes they self reported the incident. They also continued to fly the aircraft in question after the self declaration. The FAA found fault with both th
188 wnbob : This seems like a Boeing prob indeed. So yesterday the NSTB guy say they are currently doing a dual frequency eddy current test to find the cracks. If
189 Post contains links kanban : Today's Seattle Times indicates that the previous inspection criteria did not involve the area where this rupture occured... http://seattletimes.nwsou
190 Post contains links lhrnue : Was the attached report ever discussed here? http://english.aljazeera.net/program...2010/12/20101214104637901849.html#
191 Post contains links KarlB737 : A'Net members blaming the airline is ultimately irrelevant. Click the link below supplied from reply 187 and read in crystal clear black and white wh
192 n471wn : Thanks and now it is being reported that 5 total of the inspected a/c have been identifed as having hairline cracks and have been grounded---so that
193 glbltrvlr : Please don't propagate what passes for the pablum of mainstream news these days. The fact is that unless you are inside the boundary fence of the rea
194 Post contains links markalot : Too bad that's not true, unless you are ignoring the casualties at the plant (2 so far) or the expected casualties due to radiation exposure. Boeing
195 glbltrvlr : Those two individuals died from hemorrhages due to multiple wounds (i.e. the tsunami), not a reactor failure or radiation damage. No reputable scienc
196 mcdu : If the operation of the plane wasn't impacted wouldn't it have landed at it's intended destination, around 1,000 flights wouldnt have canceled and WN
197 glbltrvlr : OK, now we're being a little silly. No, a hole in the fuselage is not normal, and yes it was an emergency, and yes, Boeing and the airlines will lear
198 markalot : A flight attendant was injured during the decompression. I happen to think the accident contained a lot of luck, especially lucky that the Aloha inci
199 PlanesNTrains : You know EXACTLY what he meant, mcdu. By "impacted" he was referring to the aircraft remaining airworthy and controllable. It's beyond silly. It's ri
200 ltbewr : Some thoughts I have, following up on previous comments: Could there be an original design or specification flaw by Boeing? That is a design of certai
201 dynamicsguy : Nor should we say that it did not fail as designed since we don't have the information to say one way or the other. The first layer of protection - t
202 Asiaflyer : So these 737 has a shorter life than Boeing previously estimated. Is it responsible to keep flying them when this is now known? Why not retire this b
203 jreuschl : Not comforting to know that Boeing didn't think these areas would need inspection at this part of their cycle life. How do you look up how many cycles
204 Post contains links kanban : picture of the pieces http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/zoom/html/2014693149.html
205 tdscanuck : They said cracking at this stage of life wasn't expected...that's totally different than the failure not happening as designed. The failure happened
206 TZTriStar500 : I don't have the supporting Boeing document that states it exactly, but the fuselage and empennage on the the NG series are NOT damage tolerant. This
207 Post contains links litz : Video on CNN (presumably from the NTSB) of the pieces : http://cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2011...05/bts.ntsb.southwest.fuselage.cnn some excellent close
208 markalot : Good point, that is a lot different from something completely unexpected, thanks.
209 474218 : Christian, I think this may be the statement you referred to. I found it in the 737-700 SRM Chapter 51-00-06, General - Structural Repair Definitions
210 n471wn : Well now that Boeing has publically taken full responsibility for the N632SW rupture and exhonerated Southwest (which was reinforced by the NTSB news
211 mcdu : I stand by all comments I posted on this topic. If you watched any of the media coverage they are asking the same questions and making the same assum
212 Post contains links Bennett123 : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12985727 It seems that this issue is now impacting UK operations as well.
213 PlanesNTrains : I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. I'm quite certain that either nothing will be said by them, or that they will find something to still blame
214 Post contains links and images Cargolex : Not taking any sides in this debate, but after reading that SW had sent several birds to ATS at Paine Field, I took a spin up there on sunday an captu
215 kanban : interesting that part of the tail appears to be stripped... however there may be a different s/b involved there and doing both at once makes sense.
216 PlanesNTrains : LOL, ok I typed my response before seeing MCDU's. Boy, talk about consistency! -Dave
217 n471wn : This is interesting and I was where you were on March 1st and N300SW was there at that time as well---I am now thinking she has never left and I am n
218 JoeCanuck : Considering it is the NTSB absolving WN, it's not much of a fetch...unless you think they are on the Southwest payroll. If the FAA wants to ground th
219 Spacepope : For the record, as of Jan 7, 2011 she (N300SW) had 83036 hours and 77235 cycles. Getting up there!
220 n471wn : [quote=Spacepope,reply=219]For the record, as of Jan 7, 2011 she (N300SW) had 83036 hours and 77235 cycles. Getting up there! Wow!! She must be the hi
221 DUSdude : I have to confess not having read all the posts above... but I have read in the press statements that the failure may have resulted from a different k
222 Cargolex : Wow! With that number of cycles she's nearing retirement for sure. There are probably many ex-UA 73Classics in the desert with lower hours and cycles
223 474218 : It looks like it has been stripped for repaint. All the aluminum stripped bare and the composite just parts roughed up.
224 kanban : getting old here, forgot that fin is composite not metal... still that part looks odd even for repaint prep...
225 474218 : The center bare section is metal (aluminum).
226 DLDiamondboy : There has to a large number of cemmerical airliners with a lot more cycles than this particular 737-300.Consider the DC-9,and the entire MD-80 series
227 Post contains links kanban : see attached.. sure looks like composite http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/art...news/local/737/part04/737_tail.jpg
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