Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Suffers Fuselage Failure

Posted on 1 April 2011

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Fuselage Failure Picture

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 experienced a fuselage failure. Note: This is not the accident aircraft, simply an illustration of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched a Go Team to investigate an in-flight fuselage failure 1 April 2011 on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft.

The damaged airplane was registered as N632SW. It diverted and landed safely in Yuma, Arizona.

UPDATED 1 April 2011:

Southwest Airlines Flight 812, the scheduled 3:25 pm departure from Phoenix to Sacramento today (1 April 2011), diverted to Yuma, Arizona due to loss of pressurization in the cabin. Upon safely landing in Yuma, the flight crew discovered a hole in the top of the aircraft. There are no reported injuries among the 118 passengers. One of the Flight Attendants, however, received a minor injury upon descent.

The passengers were expected to arrive in Sacramento later 1 April.

Southwest said in a statement that they will work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as they investigate this event.

SOURCE: Southwest Airlines

UPDATED 2 April 2011:

Southwest Airlines said early 2 April 2011 that 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, Arizona, 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 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.

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 said in a statement that it 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 re-accommodated.

SOURCE: Southwest Airlines

UPDATED 2 April 2011:

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 picture courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines said today it is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine the cause of a depressurization event during a Phoenix- Sacramento flight on Friday that diverted to Yuma, Arizona. Overnight, the airline worked with engineers from the Boeing Company to further assess the damage to the aircraft and develop an inspection regimen to look more closely at 79 (not 81 as was previously reported) of its Boeing 737 aircraft which are covered by a set of Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directives aimed at inspections for aircraft skin fatigue. Those aircraft will be inspected over the course of the next several days at five locations.

Southwest expects to cancel approximately 300 flights 2 April to accommodate the inspections. Customers may experience sporadic delays of up to two hours on some flights today. Customers should check the status of their particular flight or rebook their trip on southwest.com before heading to the airport.

“The safety of our Customers and Employees is our primary concern,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We are working closely with Boeing to conduct these proactive inspections and support the investigation. We also are working aggressively to attempt to minimize the impact to our Customers’ travel schedules today.”

The 118 passengers on board Flight 812 have received a full refund along with an apology and two complimentary roundtrip passes on Southwest for future flights.

Preliminary reports indicated the aircraft lost pressure and oxygen masks were deployed shortly after takeoff from Phoenix. 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 on Flight 812 from Yuma to Sacramento the evening of 2 April 2011.

SOURCE: Southwest Airlines

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