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A very bad landing...
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I went to a wedding in Pittsburgh this past weekend. It was the first time I flew on Southwest. The price was cheap, and I had thought they had a pretty good reputation. Well I've flown on MANY flights over the years. This was the worst landing I ever experienced in my life. It was just a hair short of a crash landing. My tray table was falling down during the flight, etc. I commented to a young girl- 'what did you think of that landing'? she responded, "I'm still shaking". Yup, guess I'll go back to US air even though they treat you like crap and charge a lot more.

ETA: Took out the misinformation regarding AirTran

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BF,
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Southwest did NOT buy Airtran.

As for the carousel, it seems like Airtran and Southwest share the same luggage carousel.

Southwest bought ATA Airlines, which is different. See: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/01/Business/AirTran_elevates_pres.shtml
 
Posts: 11 | Registered: Sun October 21 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Vincent, thanks for the info. Looks like the person I met prior to the flight, had that information wrong.
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- -- Discount air carrier Southwest Airlines flew thousands of passengers on aircraft that federal inspectors said were "unsafe" as recently as last March, according to detailed congressional documents obtained by CNN.


Congressional documents show Southwest Airlines flew thousands of passengers on aircraft deemed "unsafe" by federal inspectors.

Documents submitted by FAA inspectors to congressional investigators allege the airline flew at least 117 of its planes in violation of mandatory safety checks. In some cases, the documents say, the planes flew for 30 months after government inspection deadlines had passed and should have been grounded until the inspections could be completed.

The planes were "not airworthy," according to congressional air safety investigators.

Calling it "one of the worst safety violations" he has ever seen, Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, is expected to call a hearing as soon as possible to ask why the airline put its passengers in danger.

Southwest Airlines, which carried more passengers in the United States than any other airline last year, declined comment.

"We are not doing interviews. We are only preparing for the hearings at this time," said Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandy King.

The documents obtained by CNN also allege that some management officials at the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency responsible for commercial air safety, knew the planes were flying "unsafely" and did nothing about it. CNN's Drew Griffin uncovers 'troubling information' »

"The result of inspection failures, and enforcement failure, has meant that aircraft have flown unsafe, unairworthy, and at risk of lives," Oberstar told CNN.

He said both FAA managers and the airline may also have broken the law as well as threatened the safety of Southwest passengers.

The documents were prepared by two FAA safety inspectors who have requested whistle-blower status from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which is headed by Oberstar. The two inspectors have been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

The whistle-blowers say FAA managers knew about the lapse in safety at Southwest, but decided to allow the airline to conduct the safety checks on a slower schedule because taking "aircraft out of service would have disrupted Southwest Airlines' flight schedule."

According to statements made by one of the FAA inspectors seeking whistle-blower status, a manager at the FAA "permitted the operation of these unsafe aircraft in a matter that would provide relief" to the airline, even though customers were on board.

The safety inspections ignored or delayed by the airline were mandated after two fatal crashes and one fatal incident, all involving Boeing's 737, the only type of airplane Southwest flies.

In 1994, a U.S. Air Boeing 737 crashed in Pittsburgh killing 132. Three years earlier, a United Airlines Boeing 737 crashed in Colorado Springs, killing 25. Investigators blamed both crashes on problems in the planes' rudder control system, leading the FAA to demand regular checks of the 737's rudder system.

Documents provided to CNN show 70 Southwest jets were allowed to fly past the deadline for the mandatory rudder inspections.

The documents also show 47 more Southwest jets kept flying after missing deadlines for inspections for cracks in the planes' fuselage or "skin."

The long-term, mandatory checks for fuselage cracks were required after the cabin of an Aloha Airlines 737 tore apart in mid-air in 1988, killing a flight attendant. That incident, which opened much of the top of the plane during flight, was attributed to cracks in the plane's fuselage that grew wider as the plane underwent pressure changes during flight.

An FAA inspector at a Southwest Airlines maintenance facility spotted a fuselage crack on one of the airline's 737s last year, according to the congressional documents. He notified the airline and then began looking through safety records, discovering dozens of planes that had missed mandatory inspection deadlines.

According to the inspector's statement in congressional documents: "Southwest Airlines at the time of discovery did not take immediate, corrective action as required to address this unsafe condition and continued to fly the affected aircraft with paying passengers."

The documents show Southwest Airlines voluntarily disclosed some of the missed inspections last spring, and Southwest Airlines told the Wall Street Journal it did not expect any civil penalties to be imposed because of the self-disclosure.

But, even after the airline's disclosure, FAA inspectors assert that planes continued to fly, in some cases for more than a week, before inspections were complete. The airline "did not take immediate, corrective action," according to the congressional documents obtained by CNN.


"That is wrong," said Oberstar. "When an aircraft is flying out of compliance with airworthiness directives, it is to be shut down and brought in for maintenance inspection. That's the law."

Southwest Airlines has never had a catastrophic crash. Federal investigators determined a 2005 incident at Midway airport in Chicago that killed one person on the ground was the result of pilot error, as was a 2000 incident at Burbank airport in California that seriously injured 2 passengers. E-mail to a friend

All About Southwest Airlines Inc. "¢ Federal Aviation

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/06/southwest.planes/index...?eref=rss_topstories
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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(CNN) -- Southwest Airlines has grounded dozens of planes following allegations that the airline broke federal safety rules, the airline said.


A Southwest Airlines jet takes off at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, in July 2007.

Forty-four Boeing planes were grounded "to determine whether they should go through further safety inspections," Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said Wednesday.

She could not confirm whether they were fuselage inspections or rudder inspections, issues which have recently raised concerns among Federal Aviation Administration officials and congressional investigators.

Linda Rutherford, another Southwest spokeswoman, said the planes will be returned to service after inspection and the airline expects minimal disruptions for customers.

The announcement came a day after the airline said it was placing three employees on administrative leave.

The FAA has said it may levy a record $10.2 million fine against Southwest if it's found to have violated the federal aviation regulations.

The airline is conducting an internal investigation into allegations that it flew planes without proper inspections.

"Upon learning last month of an investigation with respect to our handling of this inspection and an airworthiness directive, I immediately ordered an independent and comprehensive investigation by outside counsel," Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said in a Tuesday statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration submitted documents to congressional investigators alleging that the airline flew more than 100 planes in violation of mandatory safety checks.

The FAA has said Southwest operated 46 Boeing 737s on nearly 60,000 flights between June 2006 and March 2007 while failing to comply with an FAA directive requiring repeated inspections of fuselage areas to detect fatigue cracking.

The FAA also alleges that after Southwest discovered it had failed to comply, it continued to operate the same planes on an additional 1,451 flights in March 2007. The airline later found that six of the 46 planes had fatigue cracks, the FAA said.

The amount of the proposed penalty "reflects the serious nature of those deliberate violations," the FAA said in a statement.

Documents provided to CNN show that another 70 Southwest jets were allowed to fly past the deadline for the mandatory rudder inspections. Those documents also say that 47 planes -- one more than reported by the FAA -- flew without their mandatory fuselage inspections.

In some cases, according to the documents that the FAA provided to congressional investigators, the planes flew for 30 months past government inspection deadlines and should have grounded them until the inspections could be completed.

The documents were prepared by two FAA safety inspectors who have requested whistle-blower status from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Both inspectors have been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, who heads the committee and who has called the situation "one of the worst safety violations" he has ever seen, is scheduled to hold a hearing April 3 to ask why the airline may have allegedly put its passengers in danger.

The whistle-blowers say FAA managers knew about the lapse in safety at Southwest, but decided to allow the airline to conduct the safety checks on a slower schedule because taking "aircraft out of service would have disrupted Southwest Airlines' flight schedule."

"I am concerned with some of our findings as to our controls over procedures within our maintenance airworthiness directive and regulatory compliance processes," Kelly said Tuesday. "I have insisted that we have the appropriate maintenance organizational and governance structure in place to ensure that the right decisions are being made."

In addition to putting three employees on administrative leave, Southwest has hired a consultant to review its maintenance program controls and is working closely with the FAA on its current audit of the fleet.

"These are important and necessary steps," Kelly said. "We have been a safe company. I believe we are a safe company. I am committed to making sure we become safer still."

The mandatory checks for fuselage cracks were required after the cabin of an Aloha Airlines 737 tore apart in midair in 1988, killing a flight attendant. The incident was blamed on cracks in the fuselage that grew wider as the plane underwent pressure changes during flight.

Southwest Airlines has never had a catastrophic crash. E-mail to a friend

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/12/southwest.airlines/ind...?eref=rss_topstories
 
Posts: 2566 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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