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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES INFORMATION REGARDING FLIGHT 2294

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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES INFORMATION REGARDING FLIGHT 2294

Scheduled Nashville-Baltimore Flight Diverts to West Virginia
 
DALLAS, TX—July 13, 2009—Southwest Airlines confirms Flight 2294, the 4:05 pm Eastern scheduled departure from Nashville to Baltimore/Washington diverted to Yeager Airport in Charleston, W. Va at approximately 5:10 pm Eastern today after a cabin depressurization. All 126 passengers and crew of five onboard landed safely and are awaiting a replacement aircraft in Charleston that will take them to Baltimore/Washington International Airport later this evening.
 
The aircraft cabin depressurized approximately 30 minutes into the flight, activating the passengers’ onboard oxygen masks throughout the cabin. Medical personnel in Charleston assessed passengers and no injuries are reported. Southwest Airlines is sending its maintenance personnel to Charleston to assess the aircraft, and the airline will work with the NTSB to determine the cause of the depressurization. According to initial crew reports, the depressurization appears to be related to a small-sized hole located approximately mid-cabin, near the top of the aircraft.

There is no responsible way to speculate as to a cause at this point. We have safety procedures in place, and they were followed in this instance to get all passengers and crew safely on the ground. Reports we have are that our passengers were calm and that our Pilots and Flight Attendants did a great job getting the aircraft on the ground safely.

In an abundance of caution, we have initiatied an inspection of all 737-300s tonight.  We expect only minimal impact to tomorrow's schedule until all of those inspections are complete.

***UPDATE:  Inspections of all of our 737-300's were completed last night with zero findings. There were minimal delays to our operation this morning due to those inspections (less than 20 flights were delayed about 30 minutes each). We are still working with the NTSB on a cause.

Our BWI Customers diverted to West Va. landed safely in BWI last night via a replacement flight. Customers were in good spirits and very complimentary of the Crew's efforts.  Southwest is refunding the roundtrip fare for these Customers and thanking them  for their cooperation and patience.

www.southwest.com

 

53 Comments
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I am curious as to see what Southwest can do to reassure my safety on the flights I have to and from San Diego next week.
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I'm glad that Southwest employees know how to react in an emergency! That kept the passengers calm, the fact that there was no worry on the crews face.
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Dear Anonymous: I am curious to see what assurances you can provide that your car trip to and from the airport will be safe. Southwest has a phenomenal safety record, far better than virtually any other airline and certainly better than the average driver.
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Southwest has always been amazing when it comes to safety. I choose Southwest for their safety record, and of course their fun crews! 🙂
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Dear Anonymous - we are working with the NTSB to determine the cause of the problem and we have initiatied an inspection of all of our 737-300 aircraft tonight. Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
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SWA has an impeccable safety record. I fly at least one round-trip per week and have nothing but the utmost confidence that the other passengers and myself are in safe hands. If SWA inspects each plane and feels that they are flight-worthy, then I am more than happy to hop on-board from BWI to Sweet Home Chicago tomorrow night. Besides, where else are you going to find a carrier that has genuinely happy crews, rapping attendants, free wi-fi on select flights, free snacks, and employees that are blogging, micro-blogging, and everything in-between???
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http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/southwest-airlines-responds-to-preliminary-findings-internal-investigation
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Southwest has the best safety record in commercial aviation history by statistical data. period.
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Dear Anonymous, There are no guarantees in this world. Southwest emergency training paid off in this incident. They knew what to do and got everyone off the plane safely. This is one of the many reasons I fly with them. They care about the people who fly with them and who work for them.
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SWA 2294 Crew and Customers.. Great job getting on the ground safely... this is a testament to the caliber of Employees found at SWA. They are fun, yet very professional.
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Hello and thank you to all involved and concerned! I very simply want to say how PROUD I am of the Crew and ALL involved with this unexpected incedent onboard one of Boeing's strongest and safest airliners ever built!!! SWA chose the 737 for a reason, and Boeing has delivered. SWA does set a president when it comes to safety in the aviation industry, with one of the BEST records possible!!! The handling of this unexpected and unfortunate instance exemplifies this! Even before the aircraft landed in Charleston, WV, the recognition of a problem and coordination of a new aircraft, Crew, Ramp Agents, Operations Agent, Maintenance Crew, and local assistance had been set in motion! Without going on and on, my hat is OFF to ALL involved!!! BWI Management was INSTANTLY on scene and ALL involved were GENUINELY concerned and envolved to get EVERYONE Home SAFE ASAP!!! All I can say is WOW!!! This company really does care as if all are family! I LUV them!!!
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Anonymous: Perhaps the fact that they are inspecting every aircraft in their fleet tonight, not tomorrow or in the next scheduled maintenance, but tonight. This is a single event with NO injuries or (additional) aircraft damage. Southwest does have a fantastic safety record. Look both ways before you cross the street, wear your seat belt and don't step on any cracks on the way to the airport next week.
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I was on this flight tonight, and although extremely frightening the pilots and flight crew were amazing. There were three attendants on board and all were very calm and reassured us during the emergency landing. After we landed they served drinks and snacks and even ordered pizza for all 126 of us. They came around numerous times to check in with us and to provide updates as we waited for another plane to take us to our final destination. I wish we knew the names of the crew members as we would like to send them a formal thank you. Also the crew who flew with us from Charleston to Baltimore after the emergency landing was very attentive to our needs and made the difficult trip back a little less scary. Thank you for getting me home safely tonight!
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Great Job... Flight Attendants go through a stricted training mandated by the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, and not just by the airlines.. So yes we are all in good hands when flying Southwest and any other Airline...!! Heidy Feliz
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could you tell me the tail number
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SW has shown that it's a company that does right by its customers. They didn't HAVE to refund the airfare for the passengers on this flight. I wish more companies had such awesome customer service! I always fly SW when possible. I just wish they flew overseas!!
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Hey! Is the the same SWA that was fined $10 million by the FAA for not complying with fuselage inspection AD's?
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I fly on average 2-3 times per month. I have to commend SouthWest not only on their fantastic safety record but the professionalism of the flight crews. I am flying to California on Southwest next week and have absolutly no fears whatsoever. Every day as I drive home from work I see accidents on the road. I feel safer in the air than I do on the ground!
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N387SW
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Today's flight from Chicago to Austin also had a pressurization problem that diverted the plane to St. Louis. No problems for any of the passengers other than delays and SW got another plane almost immediately but I'm wondering what happened.
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"Every day as I drive home from work I see accidents on the road"... this may be, but did any of them involve a chunk of a cars roof pealing off for no apparent reason?
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Another reason to not fly Southwest. I would really like to see was in the seal documents back in March when Southwest was fined from improper maintenance records & procedures.
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I am so damn glad I retired from being a flight attendant in 2002!!!! I have not , nor will I ever fly , step foot on a plane again! I did my 35 years, and now travel by Amtrak!! It's alot safer! I wish Southwest well, but will not be flying on a SW flight now or in the future.
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I understand SWA has a progressive maintenance system where if one part fails they will replace all the parts before they fail. As a result, I have only had one flight not take off as scheduled because of a maintenance issue in over 15 years of flying with SWA. As soon as the pressure problem occurred SWA immediately inspected all the planes for that issue. I am a private pilot and can appreciate how efficiently they unload and load planes then fly the most efficient routes to maintain the schedule.
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i am flying SW ON july 25 from jax to indy, and this incident makes me REALLY nervous...
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I was also on the flight last night. My concern is that In March, Southwest agreed to pay a $7.5 million civil penalty imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration for operating nearly 60,000 flights in 2007 on planes that had not undergone required inspections for cracks in the fuselage. This seems conincidental. I fly Southwest every week and my flight last night along with the payment of penalties is very concerning to me. It should be to the rest of you as well.
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I have all faith that Southwest has assured that all passengers are and will be safe on their aircraft. I for one will keep my plans with my family to fly this weekend.
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I have flown Southwest once a week for the past 15 years. I commend the great pilots and crew of this flight. However, I have to question why Southwest allowed the condition of planes to deteriorate. I think this is the unfortunate result of outsourcing maintenance operations to a third world country. I would have thought the $7.5 million FAA fine would have been enough incentive to perform regular fuselage inspections. I hope it does not take a more serious situation for the company to return to its former high safety standards.
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Southwest hasn't learned its lesson from the FAA imposed fines for shoddy maintenance (and worse) practices. It's clear that Southwest shills abound on this board, probably SWA employees told by SWA to litter the board with PR disguised as comments.
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As an A-list flyer I see many SWA crews and all are really great. However on occasion there are attendants who stand out and I'd like to recognize one: Erica, SW431 MCO - BWI - 7:15PM, 13 Jul 09. Absolutely great service from a professional who obviously enjoyed her job.
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Southwest has an impeccable safety record. That's a cold, hard fact. I have no qualms about flying them at all.
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I'm flying on Southwest next week and between their fines and this "small" hole I am more than a little nervous to get on that plane, which will be a 737-300, next Tuesday and again next Saturday. Southwest boasts that the average age of their fleet is 10 years, but what that doesn't tell you is that 1/3 of their fleet, the 737-300 planes, has an average age of just over 17 years. The age of the 707-300 doesn't bother me as much as their deceptive advertising does.
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There's a bigger issue here that everyone seems to be forgeting. Southwest was fined in excess of seven million dollars recently for not following FAA guidlines and inspecting all aged aircraft for potential cracks or holes in the frame. 6 months later look what happnes, a hole the size of a football! This to me looks like a calculated risk on the part of Southwest, the cost of potentially paying out the relatives of any accident victims compared to the on going cost of maintenance and inspections.
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Just so that those who dont know are clear, this does happen! Airplanes expand and contract as they climb and descend. It doesnt matter what airline it is. And incase no body has read the updates, when Southwest found those cracks in January they also fixed them. The media has no idea what they are ever talking about, especially when it comes to aviation. Southwest does have an amazing safety record. They are the only airline i fly on or will ever fly on. There is no reason to be nervous. Out of the many things that can go wrong while flying a small hole in the fuselage isnt that big of a deal.
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To all of you out there "scared" to fly Southwest...I have been a Southwest flight attendant for over four years now. Any time there has EVER been a maintenance issues the mechanics are waiting at the jetway when we pull up to fix whatever needs to be fixed. If it is not fixable and unsafe for that plane to fly, we don't go with that plane. Period. So stop worrying so much and come on board...because trust me, if its not safe, I am not going to be on that airplane!
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Is there a book called Nuts that was written by the Southwest President? I have not been able to google it.
New Arrival
I thought the tail was n382sw not n387sw
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Nuts! may be the book you are thinking of. Former CEO Herb Kelleher is on the cover but it was written by others.
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As a very frequent business customer of SWA, I am appalled that there is no comment, explanation or reassurance re: Flight #2294 on Southwest.com/News Releases/. As a matter of fact, the most current topic at this tab on the SWA website is an announcment noting that "Southwest Airlines to Discuss Second Quarter 2009 Financial Results on July 21, 2009". I would have expected Gary Kelly to provide a statement sharing his position on this unfortunate event, especially in light of previous FAA fines in March of this year, issued at $10.2 million dollars. The FAA sought the fines from Southwest for flying 46 jets during nine months in 2006 and 2007 without performing required inspections for cracks in the fuselage. Cracks were eventuially found on six of the planes. Gary Kelly's bio notes his background is principally financial in nature before being named CEO of Southwest airlines. My family also flies Southwest for pleasure frequently. Maybe it's time to evaluate our choices for air carriers. I wonder if Mr. Kelly is comfortable having his family fly Southwest . . . . . . . . . . .
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I was on this flight and the staff did a great job of taking care of the situation.
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I was on this flight and I want to commend the crew on a great job. The flight attendants did an incredible job keeping everyone calm and going over safety instructions and evacuation procedures. The pilots did an awesome job in safely flying and landing the plane. They are obviously well trained and did an incredible job. This was also the scariest ordeal that I have ever been thru and no one who has experienced what we experienced could even begin to understand what we went thru. I would also like to thank my fellow passengers - it is great to know that complete strangers will come together to help one another.
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Had there not been recent fines regarding inspections that were supposed to find cracks before something like this happens it could have been shrugged off as a weird anomaly with this plane, but that is not the case. Next week I will be flying Southwest and while I am not normally a nervous flyer I am sure that every rattle and groan the plane makes during the almost 3 hour flights will keep me on edge from take off to landing. I really hope for everyone flying on and working at Southwest that this isn't a sign of things to come.
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NOW that the fuselage inspection fines from FAA are paid, this unfortunate event on a regional flight to BWI are all over the news and blog. Post-incident this will be the safest SWA ever as safety is always part of RISK management. It should be part of a living Credo at SWA. Food for thought: Who has unlimited $$ to buy 3 year old planes today? - Please find that airline, then look at their fares and try to find the LUV!
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I can tell you without having seen the plane just hearing the passenger accounts. Plane took off from Nashville under weather (high turbulence/thermals) which flexed the fuselage at the mid point above the wing box and the tail section. A section of the plane's seam/riveting failed and cracked open during that time putting the "skin" up at a lip to catch wind. At high altitude and high speed with the pilots ignoring the higher than normal cabin pump and wind noise it finally gave way under most likely a small amount of turbulence that pushed the lip back up to catch wind and rip off. There you have it. Wouldn't really be anybodies fault unless that was patch work for something else in the planes maintenance logs. That kind of structural failure isn't as big of a deal as people keep thinking it is. The size is way inside of tolerance for total air worthyness. To see what a plane can get away with look at Aloha Airlines Flight 243 or check out any war footage of less forgiving planes designs coming back with far less surface in tact. The spars holding the fuselage together are all still in tact running down the body. It was mostly cosmetic and comfort such as the pressurized cabin.
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After a little googling it looks like SW has also had several emergency landing relating to engine failure/trouble and other mishaps.. what is up with the maintenance here? Links: http://cbs11tv.com/local/Southwest.Airlines.Engine.2.687764.html http://www.newsday.com/news/local/suffolk/ny-liswes0712625745apr06,0,664658.story http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/strange/news-article.aspx?storyid=96508 http://www.newstin.com/tag/us/133126629 http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090615/BREAKING/906159991?Title=Southwest-jet-from-Fort-Myers-makes-emergency-landing Anything can happen on any airline, and SW is the safest to date, but this trend is troubling.
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Yes SW was fined however, if you recall SW brought there problems to FTA/NTSB attentions no other airline has done that. Also SW still has no crash es /accidents that resulted in fatalities. SW also is the only airline with a personality and they happen to treat each passenger like a freind. They are well trained and always ready to face any problem at hand. Thanks for being my number 1 airline. I just wish you would fly into South Carolina or even souther North Carolina.
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"Southwest has the best safety record in commercial aviation history by statistical data. period." Not true. Southwest had a fatality on the ground. The following is a list of airlines with zero fatalities and the year they were founded. Aerorepublica Colombia (1992) Air Anatolia (1996) Air Austral (1990) Air Baltic (1995) Air Berlin (1991) Air Comet (2006) Air Do (1997) Air Express Tanzania (2006) Air Europa (1984) Air Transport Europe (1991) Air Jamaica (1966) Air Macau (1994) Air Malta (1973) Air Mauritius (1967) Air Namibia (1991) Air Niugini (1973) Air One (1995) Air Seychelles (1985) Air Transat (1986) Airlink - Australia (1994) Allegiant Air (1998) AMC Airlines (1994) America Trans Air (2005) Arkia Israeli Airlines (1980) ASCERA (1990) Atlantic Airways (1987) Aurigny Air Services (1968) Austrian Airlines (1957) Awair International (2005) Bahamasair (1973) Blue Panorama (1998) Britannia (1961) Canadian North (1990) Cayman Airways (1968) Corsair Int. (1991) Croatia Airlines (1990) Dragonair (1985) EasyJet (1995) Edelweiss Air (1995) Emirates Airlines (1985) Estonian Air (1991) Eurocypria Airlines (1990) Eurofly (1989) Eurowings (1993) EVA Air (1990) Falcon Air Express (1995) Frontier (1994) Hainan Airlines (1989) Hawaiian Airlines (1941) Inter Air Airlines (1979) Islandsflug (1991) Japan TransOcean Air (1993) Jet Airways (1992) Jet Blue Airways (1999) LTU International Airways (1955) Macedonian - Greece (1992) Macedonian - Macedonia (1994) Maersk Air (1969) Mahan Air (1991) Malmo Aviation (2000) Meridiana (1991) Mesa Airlines (1980) Monarch Airlines (1967) Myanmar Airways Intl. (1993) National Airlines (2008) Nature Air (1991) North American Airlines (1989) Nouvelair Tunisie (1996) Novair (1997) Oman Air (1993) Omni Air International (1997) Onur Air (1992) Pace Airlines (1995) Pegasus Airlines (1990) PLUNA (1936) Portugalia Airlines (1997) Qatar Airways (1993) Royal Brunei Airlines (1974) Ryanair (1985) SATA International (1998) Shaheen Air Int. (1993) Shanghai Airlines (1985) Sichuan Airlines (1990) Skymark Airlines (1996) Skyservice Airlines (1994) Skyways Express (2000) Spirit Airlines (1992) Sun Country Airlines (1982) Swiss International Air Lines (2002) Syrianair (1977) Titan Airways (1988) Trans States Airlines (1989) Transaero (1990) TransAsia Airways(1992) Transavia Airlines (1986) Travel Service Airlines (1997) Tunisair (1990) Ukraine International (1992) UNI Airways (1996) Virgin Atlantic (1984) WestJet Airlines (2002)
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I just saw a plane pull up to gate 129 at MCO with a football sized "lump" near the area where the football sized hole was on the flight in question. Is this a patch? Could this be the same plane? I know that some of the Southwest flights now are WiFi capable, could this lump that I'm seeing be the radio link for that WiFi service? If so, was the flight in question WiFi capable? Could this be what flew off the plane in question causing the hole? I have not seen any update on this issue, yet I am very curious. Has a conclusion been come to regarding what caused the hole in the plane? Thanks.
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Yes, it probably is the wi-fi antenna radome. No, the aircraft in question did not have the wi-fi installation. No final cause has yet been determined by the NTSB.
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After getting through the traffic to the airport, especially the people violating the speed limits in the last mile to the airport, it is a relief to know that the aircraft part of the trip is far safer especially because I am not driving.