Alaska Airlines must inspect older 737's after Southwest incident

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM

SEATTLE -- Alaska Airlines officials insist concerns over a damaged Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 have nothing to do with them.

The federal government announced Monday that Alaska or any other airline using older Boeing 737 aircraft, (Series 300, 400 and 500) must conduct electromagnetic inspections of those aircraft to detect cracks in the fuselage like one that opened a five-foot gash in the Southwest Boeing 737-300 plane last Friday.

Spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said Alaska Airlines has no 300 series in its fleet and the company had no plans to proactively inspect the 737-400's it does have. The company has not yet announced what it plans to do now that the FAA has announced it will require the inspections.

"Safety is our number one priority," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Last Friday's incident was very serious and could result in additional action depending on the outcome of the investigation."

The FAA announcement follows a service bulletin issued this afternoon by Boeing to all operators of the older Boeing 737 passenger jets.


 

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