Sunday, April 3, 2011

News: 1 April 2011 Southwest Airlines Flight 812 blows a hole on the fuselage in mid-air!

    Two days ago a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 travelling from Phoenix,AZ to Sacramento,CA had to make an emergency landing in Yuma,Arizona after a loud bang was heard and a hole(reported as being between 3 feet (0.91 m) and 6 feet (1.8 m) long) could be seen just above the luggage compartment in the middle of the aircraft,the masks immediately dropped down with passengers reporting ear pain,dizziness and blacking out feeling but hopefully no other serious injuries occured.The pilot had to make an abrupt dive in order to reach an altitude more rich in oxygen (from 11000m to 8000m in about five minutes) to continue for a safe landing in Yuma.A passenger calling from inside the plane gave this chilling report "The panel's not completely off. It's like ripped down... When you look up through the panel, you can see the sky".This is not the first time that an incident like this happened to the airline, also in July 2009 a football size hole appeared in another Boeing 737 that was also forced to make a safe landing as well.Southwest in the wake of the incident had to ground 80 of its Boeing 737-300s for inspection.An investigation from NTSB has started but it is too early to draw hasty conclusions.Such incidents are regarded as very serious because they can reveal that there is a structural design flaw or a not so good maintenance from the part of the airline which would result in a fine like the 7.5 million dollar Southwest had to pay in 2008 one year before the 2009 incident for lax maintenance and inspection practices of the company,also Greek people will still remember the 2005 Helios Airways Accident where rapid depressurization caused hypoxia to the pilots eventually leading to fuel starvation and crash of the plane,also what can happen to structure of the plane like the Aloha article i first wrote.Keep in touch for further news regarding this incident or others!

Youtube video from inside the plane
BBC News
Wikipedia Article
2009 incident Wikipedia