Anyone flying Southwest?

Seems as Southwest Airlines has had a couple of problems lately.  I remember flying Southwest back in the day when they made flying fun, but this brings a whole new level to fun..

Southwest grounds about 80 planes after mishap.


A  passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight shot this photo of the apparent hole torn in the cabin ceiling when the fuselage ruptured shortly after takeoff from Phoenix on Friday. The airline has grounded about 80 similar planes so that they can be inspected.

And the rest of the story?

PHOENIX | Flight attendants had just begun to take drink orders when the explosion rocked the cabin.

Aboard Southwest Flight 812, Shawna Malvini Redden covered her ears, then felt a brisk wind rush by. Oxygen masks fell, the cabin lost pressure, and Redden, suddenly lightheaded, fumbled to put the mask on.

Then she prayed. And instinctively, she reached out to the stranger seated next to her in Row 8 as the pilot of the damaged aircraft began a rapid descent from about 34,400 feet.

“I don’t know this dude, but I was like, ‘I’m going to just hold your ” Redden, an Arizona State University student, recalled Saturday, a day hand,’ after her Phoenix-to-Sacramento flight was forced into an emergency landing at a military base in Yuma, Ariz., with a hole a few feet long in the roof of the passenger cabin.

No serious injuries were reported among the 118 people aboard, said airline officials.

What caused part of the fuselage to rupture on the 15-year-old Boeing 737-300 was a mystery. The FBI said there was no reason to suspect terrorism.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said investigators would cut a piece out of the fuselage and study it for fracture patterns. Data from the plane’s flight recorders and black boxes also would be examined, he said.

Southwest, meanwhile, grounded about 80 similar planes so that they could be inspected, and canceled some 300 flights Saturday because of the reduced fleet.

Southwest operates about 170 Boeing 737-300s in its fleet of about 540 planes, but it replaced the aluminum skin on many of the 300s in recent years, airline spokeswoman Linda Rutherford said. The planes that were grounded Saturday had not had their skin replaced, she said.

A total of 288 Boeing 737-300s currently operate in the U.S. fleet, and 931 operate worldwide, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ok.. Southwest has had an impeccable record for a long time.  It’s really a shame to hear about this.  I hope they get things back on track with their fleets soon.

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