SEARCH

Entries in Ceiling Hole (1)

Sunday
Apr032011

Southwest Cancels 200 Flights as NTSB Investigates Plane Rupture

David McNew/Getty Images(YUMA, Ariz.) -- Southwest Airlines customers continued to experience travel hiccups Sunday, as the airline canceled approximately 200 flights across the country.

The cancellations come as investigations continue following a ceiling tear in a Southwest Airlines plane Friday that left a 3-4 foot long hole in the aircraft. The plane had taken off from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and was headed for Sacramento, Calif., with 118 passengers onboard, when it was forced to land at a military base in Yuma, Ariz., following the ceiling rupture.

The NTSB is investigating the tear, as officials try to determine what caused the ceiling to rip open. A source close to the investigation tells ABC News that investigators found evidence of fatigue cracks where the plane tore apart; however, it is still unclear if and how this will factor into the cause of the hole. ABC News has also learned that the Boeing 737 plane involved underwent heavy maintenance in March 2010 after a number of cracks were discovered in the fuselage. Records show at least a dozen cracks were reportedly repaired during the maintenance work.

Southwest Airlines on Saturday announced that 81 planes would be taken out of service for inspection.

No customers were injured during the mid-air rupture on Flight 812 Friday, according to the airline, but a flight attendant reportedly suffered a minor injury upon descent.

On Sunday the airline issued an alert on its website advising customers that there would be “relatively few flight delays and cancellations.” The alert said that the majority of its scheduled service was not affected, but urged customers to check with the airline for information regarding the status of their flights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio