NTSB: Southwest Jet Had Fatigue Cracking

Meanwhile, airline grounds 79 planes, cancels hundreds of flights
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2011 11:59 AM CDT
NTSB aerospace engineer Chris Babcock carries the flight recorders from Southwest flight 812 that made an emergency landing in Yuma, Ariz., Friday, April 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – Fatigue cracking has been found along the entire 5-foot section of a Southwest Airlines jet that ripped open on Friday, forcing an emergency landing in Arizona. The NTSB says that mechanics will cut a 9-foot by 3-foot section of the plane and send it to Washington, DC, for testing. Southwest has responded by grounding at least 79 planes, reports the AP; at least 300 flights were canceled yesterday.

And more cancellations were on the horizon today: "We don't at this time know what the impact will be, but it's possible that it could be in the 300-flight range again," a Southwest spokesman told Reuters.

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