Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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NTSB finds manufacturing issues with damaged Southwest jet

Early on in the saga of why a Southwest jet lost a piece of its roof in flight on April 1, I mentioned here that sometimes things happen to airplanes that are completely unanticipated, even when airplane makers and airlines try to cover all the bases and do a decent job of avoiding trouble spots. That seems to be emerging in this case, with the discovery of possible manufacturing errors to the jet in question.

NTSB finds manufacturing issues with damaged Southwest jet

Early on in the saga of why a Southwest jet lost a piece of its roof in flight on April 1, I mentioned here that sometimes things happen to airplanes that are completely unanticipated, even when airplane makers and airlines try to cover all the bases and do a decent job of avoiding trouble spots. That seems to be emerging in this case, with the discovery of possible manufacturing errors to the jet in question.

In a story first reported by ABC tv news last week, the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary assessment of why the Southwest 737 suffered the near-catastrophic accident, 34,000 feet over Arizona points to rivets and how they were installed. There appears to have been sloppy riveting work done in the original manufacturing of the 15-year-old jet at a Boeing Co. plant where the wings were made. Here is a good story on what the NTSB has found in its ongoing investigation.

Tom Belden
About this blog
Tom Belden has been reporting about Philadelphia International Airport and other air travel subjects for more than 20 years, writing columns for The Inquirer's Travel and Business sections. His reporting (with colleague Craig McCoy) on baggage handling problems in Philadelphia have been credited with helping to improve the system. His previous blog was called Road Warrior. He can reached at tbelden@phillynews.com. Reach Tom at tbelden@phillynews.com.

Tom Belden
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