On March 6, 2008, the FAA levied Southwest with a 10.2 million dollar fine for failing to inspection as many as 117 737’s for as long as 30 months.
The inspections centered around early detection of skin cracking. Anyone remember Aloha Flight 243 . The one that suddenly offered patio seating in first class?
Calling it “one of the worst safety violations” he has ever seen, Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, is expected to call a hearing as soon as possible to ask why the airline put its passengers in danger.
But Southwest Airlines — which carried more passengers in the United States than any other airline last year — said there was never a flight safety issue.
“The FAA penalty is related to one of many routine and redundant inspections on our aircraft fleet involving an extremely small area in one of the many overlapping inspections. These inspections were designed to detect early signs of skin cracking,” the airline said in a statement Thursday evening. Read Southwest’s entire response.