Southwest Airlines reassesses safety after fuselage blows hole

Southwest Airlines has inspected almost 200 of its Boeing 737s and has found no problems with the jets. The airline conducted the inspection after a football-sized hole opened in the fuselage of a Southwest jet on Monday. No one was injured. The head of the nonprofit Flight Safety Foundation says the plane could have suffered aging-related stress.

William Voss told KPCC’s "Patt Morrison" that the plane was approaching 50,000 cycles. That’s the number of times the plane takes off and lands.

William Voss: “That starts putting it in the category of aircraft that have to go through different sorts of inspections just to pick up on these types of fatigue cracks and problems that we may have seen here.”

The plane was headed from Nashville to Baltimore, but had to make an emergency landing in West Virginia. Discount carrier Southwest maintains an all-737 fleet.

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