Southwest investigates aircraft after crack during flight

by NPHM | April 5th, 2011

April 4, 2011

Southwest Airlines has promoted a mandatory investigation of dozens of aircraft after the roof of a Boeing 737-300 was ripped off mid-flight at 36,000 feet.

The airplane was headed from Phoneix to Sacramento when the incident took place, and passengers were convinced the plane was crashing.

According to, the jet was 15 years old and had been through more than 39,000 takeoffs and landings, each that puts stress on the plane’s skin.

The 5-foot section of the plane’s fuselage that opened during the flight is under investigation. The jet came apart at a seam where two pieces of metal are riveted together.

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How often do you think planes should go through a mandatory inspection of their interior and exterior? Do you think this has prompted more thorough safety checks?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.