FAA issues emergency order to inspect airliners

AP News
Posted: Apr 05, 2011 4:31 PM
FAA issues emergency order to inspect airliners

Federal officials have issued an emergency order requiring inspections of Boeing planes with similar construction to the Southwest Airlines plane that had a 5-foot tear that led to an emergency landing last week.

The Federal Aviation Administration order Tuesday applies to Boeing 737-300s, 400s and 500s that have a similarly constructed joint where pieces of the plane's skin meet. The joint is at about the midpoint of the passenger cabin.

Nearly all the U.S.-registered planes covered in the order have already been re-inspected. The FAA has previously said the order will affect 80 U.S. planes, 78 of which are operated by Southwest. The other two are operated by Alaska Airlines.

Southwest has said it has finished their inspections, finding five more planes with similar signs of metal fatigue.