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Southwest Airlines Community

We Take Safety Seriously

pberg
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Friends - Many of you are writing to us concerned about today's news reports regarding the safety and inspections of Southwest Airlines' aircraft.  Let me assure you, first and foremost, that no one is more passionate about the safety of our Customers and Employees than we are, and it is important for you all to know that the situation being reported in the media was never and is not now a safety of flight issue. The FAA has issued what is called a "letter of penalty" to Southwest Airlines regarding one of many routine, redundant, and overlapping inspections of our fleet.  The specific inspection in question involves an extremely small area in one of many overlapping inspections designed to detect early signs of skin cracking on our aircraft.   In March 2007, Southwest Airlines discovered a missed inspection area, disclosed the information to the FAA, and promptly reinspected all of our potentially affected aircraft. The FAA approved our actions at that time and considered the matter closed as of April 2007.  The Boeing Company, which manufactures all of our aircraft, also supported our aggressive compliance plan, and has issued a statement confirming that we acted responsibly and, more importantly, that the safety of our fleet was not compromised.   The FAA has concerns about the inspection process, which we are willing and eager to work with them to resolve.  Receipt of the FAA's letter of penalty gives us the opportunity to present both our case and the facts, which we feel will support our actions taken back in March 2007. We assure you that this issue never compromised the safety of our fleet.  Southwest has an excellent maintenance program, with more Boeing 737 aircraft experience than any carrier in the world.  Safety is, has always been, and will always will be our number one priority. 
186 Comments
DokF_Doe
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Well, well well. Funny how the idiots in America flock to the internet to post mostly uninformed comments when there's a story of this nature. The dumbest of them can't spell, can't use proper grammar, and know almost nothing about punctuation. They're like reading a whole other language and yet they're out there pounding their chests and perpetuating as much shame and disdain as their little narrow minds can muster in as many badly written sentences as their short attention spans can produce. It's not difficult to read threads like this and truly understand the ever-more shrinking intellect of the American public, it's sad that there are such a large number of you that are born-again victims of anything and everything you can dig up and wear like coats of armor. It amazes me how you listen to one side of an issue and close your mind to the counterpoints. This is nothing more than a clerical error with an idiot Congressmen chasing parked cars making as big a stink about it as he can to justify his useless existence. This is far from the kind of issue that was discovered when Alaska Airlines maintenance consciously put aircraft back in service with severe mechanical deficiencies all those years ago. For the record I remember a story several years ago about an FAA directive that came out on the 737 where some wiring in the left wing had to be re-routed due to chaffing. The FAA gave the airlines 18 months to cure the problem, Southwest reported in that the entire fleet had been repaired in less than 90 days. Now if this Congressional idiot pushes the issue far enough to really do any good (And of course he won't) and the investigations go deep enough and to other airlines like United and Northwest for example, I'm confident you'll really find some problems that far exceed a clerical error. I fly Southwest almost exclusively due to their remarkable customer service, performance, and safety record. I know that a company that is run as well as Southwest (as few as there are) is so conscious of every facet of their business that there are few mistakes made relative to their size and the magnitude of their daily operation. They're handling, tracking and maintaining 500 + aircraft that are constantly moving all over the country and I would bet anything that the majority of the negative comments made by the mental midgets are by people that haven't changed the oil in their own car in the past year. As far as I'm concerned Kudos as always to Southwest on a job consistently well done. I have no less confidence in your operations than I ever have, and the difference between those of us that speak as I do and those that are up in the clock tower shooting mentally deficient pot shots at SWA is, we're actually flying you, and they aren't. I would bet my last dollar on it.
charles_smith
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Nick: Southwest does not allow complete open debate. Just do a search for Bobby Boutris, possibly one of the whistleblowers.
Dan34
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I am truly disappointed with Southwest. I have been flying Southwest 25+ times per year for several years. But, I will no longer support an airline who knowingly and willingly put air travelers lives at risk. The kind of neglect that Southwest has demonstrated is appalling and inexcusable. Inexcusable, Southwest. Honestly, I don't know how some people sleep at night...
DokF_Doe
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Furthermore, having been in aviation, what the average person doesn't realize is the complexity of maintaining an aircraft. The average person equates aircraft maintenance to vehicle maintenance and there is virtually no resemblance. Aircraft are far more reliable and better built to begin with but they're also meticulously maintained. Aircraft are subject to A.D.s (Airworthiness directives) that are published by both the FAA and the Aircraft manufacturer. These are items that need to either be checked, changed, or repaired and can range from something as small as a light bulb to something as complex as an engine component or even a whole engine for that matter. A.D.s are an ongoing weekly issue. This means that there are literally hundreds, even thousands of A.D.s that can present themselves throughout the service life of an airliner. Keeping track of these things is a full time job for an entire group of people in an airline application who have to schedule all these A.D. issues in the time specified in the A.D. All this on top of an intensive regular maintenance schedule which includes massive disassembly/xray/reassembly inspections every few years. These aircraft are rotated through various maintenance bases nightly where this work is performed and removed from service for the major overhauls. Multiply this by 500 aircraft in Southwest's case. This isn't taken lightly and there are even on-sight FAA inspectors that insure all work is done on schedule and correctly. This was an oversight, nothing more.
Chuck_N_
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I would urge everyone to get their news about SWA from the media instead of a highly moderated blog filled with SWA fans.
LEROY1
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I love Southwest Airlines, I hardly ever fly Braniff or Eastern anymore.
AJ
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Plain and simple...SOMEONE at Southwest knows what is going on here and that SOMEONE should also know if true, cutting corners sooner or later catches up with you. Fix the planes that are broken and videotape mechanics doing it...inspect the other planes and videotape mechanics doing it...order some new planes and put out a commercial saying your fares are staying put.
Artie
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There is only ONE scary fact in all this: it is that I live in a society where too many people take the media reporting as fact, not to be questioned, analyzed, scrutinized, or doubted. We hear words like "unsafe" from a reporter and accept it as a verdict. And then we unfairly attach all sorts of unfounded reasons for the action - like Southwest was being greedy or this was their way of saving money or any other in a list of ridiculous assertions. To even suggest that the Maintenance Crew at SWA would knowingly put people in harm way to save a buck is shameful, but does shed light on how various events in history, like the Salem Witch Trials, could have occurred - we as humans are too stupid for our own good...and we don't even realize it. Well here is a couple reminders, fellow countrymen: we have young, admirable men and women fighting a war on several fronts to protect freedoms and liberties like "innocent until proven guilty". Of course, lucky for the many ignorant and incompetent stone-throwers is that they also have freedom of speech and expression - even to express unproven ideas as fact. And one more frustrated observation: somehow suddenly every person on this blog becomes a "Platinum member" - "I flew you hundreds of times a month...BUT NO MORE" goes the familiar saying. You know, not that I condone the brand of customer service that Spirit Airlines presents, but his CEO was correct when he implied that overly self-righteous customers need to get over themselves.
Kathy24
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Oh, the drama! Seriously, let's all calm down and stop allowing the news media to tell us what to think. All it takes is a red "Breaking News" headline flashing at the top of the screen to make us all stop in our tracks and wait breathlessly for the next scrap of information, even if it's half-true or poorly investigated. SW's safety history is unparallelled. You're safer flying on a SWA plane than you are driving in your car to get to the airport. Do you really, truly believe that there's some great conspiracy to jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of SW's customers and employees? Chill, people.
Rick8
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You are now free to move about the country. On a different airline. Pathetic.
carla
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Hey, Chuck N....re. your comment about going to the media instead of a "highly moderated blog": 1. It seems that SWA is allowing all the negative comments to be posted here. In fact, there seem to be more of those type comments than supportive ones. Read 'em ALL, including the ones posted under "CEO on CNN." 2.Instead of the media, perhaps we should all check out the source documents...you REALLY trust the MEDIA? 3. To your point, and mine...go to SWAMedia, and click on the "Former NTSB Investigator" link. In my mind, that is the best summary of the situation by an actual EXPERT. 4.Speaking of the media, they are giving a politician (Oberstar) a chance to make hay in the limelight at the expense of SWA. 'Course SWA went through the ringer with a politician at the onset of their existence at the behest of other airlines. And it only took 30+ years to prove that Wright was wrong. Could history be repeating itself...SWA IS the only profitable airline. How embarrassing for the other carriers! Feel free to check my other comment earlier in this thread, as well as my comment on the "CEO on CNN" post.
Jane2
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I fly Southwest and will continue to fly Southwest, the FAA appears to be trying to cover up their mistake. Southwest reported their error, FAA said everything was okay. If the FAA was wrong why punish a the airline, I'm sure any other airline would do the same. This appears to be a political witch hunt on the part of a broken federal agency.
John22
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This not about Southwest, it's about a federal agency that is trying cover their tracks. Southwest did nothing wrong here in my eyes, the FAA is nothing but a political tool for Congressman Oberstar.
Oscar
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Southwest has the most modern feet in the industry, if you don't like Southwest go fly on a 25 year old DC-9 operated by American. This is just a coverup for a mistake made by the FAA. What is the real issue here, the FAA looked into this a year ago, now the agency is trying to satisfy a congressman who has political ties to Northwest Airlines.
Chris26
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The real investigation that needs to happen is against the Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar which is who got all this negative publicity brought about in the media against Southwest Airlines. Funny how when Northwest Airlines which is based out of Minnesota allowed ALL there aircraft mechanics to strike because the greedy management would not work with them on a fair contract, then they went and hired NON-skilled mechanics to maintain there aircraft, almost none of the maintenance problems they were having ever came out in the media, WHY IS THAT? Could it be because the Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar didn't think it was worth taking about since it was effecting the very AIrline that he has protected many other times before on other issues. Southwest is be far the safest and best run airline in the WORLD, you don't earn a track record like they have by not doing things right. The people that work for the media have one goal in mind and that is getting the highest RATINGS they can not nessacerally reporting the most accurate news. I think many of us will be surprised when the full story comes out in the end, but then I dought it will ever make the news because it will show that Southwest was not at fault.
Chuck_N_
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Carla, southwest is not allowing ALL negative posts on the topic. The Dallas papers have more information that is not on southwest's website like statements from the whistleblowers, and last month BusinessWeek's expose about Mark Lund. I have written them in this blog, and they aren't posted.
Shaun3
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Why dont some of you people grow up and read get the facts straight for once. 37 years of flying without a maintenance related incident (crash or accident whatever you want to call it). If Safety was not one of their top priorities why aren't these aircraft falling out of the sky? To those of you making the posts about flying SWA for several years and now are considering flying someone else....if they were not safe I dont think you would be sitting in front of your computer typing on this blog. Get real. A special thanks to the media for trying to think they know what the hell they're talking about.
SWALUVER
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HMMMMM>>>> REP. OBERSTAR = MINNESOTA NORTHWEST AIRLINES= MINNESOTA Headquarters every airline would love to catch up to SWA COINCIDENCE ???? I THINK NOT oh....also I'm sure you all know that SWA IS the safest airline in the WORLD! #1 SAFETY
Bob_MacKay
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Deny, deny, deny!! - That is Southwest's obvious strategy right now, regarding Southwest's irresponsibity towards their airline maintainence. THE FACTS: 1. The FAA has fined Southwest 10 MILLION DOLLARS for violating safety regulations, in place to protect the flying public. 2. Southwest flew planes with thousands of passengers on them, AFTER Southwest KNEW that those planes were NOT compliant with FAA safety regulations!! Bottom line: Southwest put REVENUE and PROFITS, ahead of passenger safety. 3. Southwest has used the excuse that "Boeing said the planes were OK to fly" ... ARE YOU KIDDING??!! - Since when does an opinion from Boeing, trump FAA Federal law and Federal safety regulations? That's like a little kid getting in trouble for doing something wrong, and saying "But my friend said it was OK" The Southwest executives have demonstrated that to them, revenues and profits come first. And that the safety of their planes is secondary, to keeping those planes in the air.
Fred_Halberstad
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There is a lot more behind the allegations against SW than meets the eye! Other carriers who can't compete with Southwest on fares would like to bring SW down. It is even possible that money is changing hands between government officials, the "expensive" carriers, and top dogs in the FAA to falsely charge SW with safety violations. It wouldn 't be the first time that our government officials have been "on the take"! My wife and I always fly Southwest and feel perfectly safe doing so. In April we will fly from Indianapolis to Norfolk on SW and have no fear of making that trip. This is all a bunch of crap to pad someone's pockets and hurt Southwest Airlines and ulltimately make travel more expensive for people like me. I resent their political "games".
Fred_Halberstad
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James Oberstar is an under-achiever who has likely failed at everything he has attempted in life. But that makes him very qualified to join the other non-achievers in politics. Those who can, do. Those who can't, become politicians. Certainly not the brightest bulbs in the box are leading our country! No, I am not a representative of Southwest Airlines......just a very satisfied customer.
Fred_Halberstad
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Scott, March 8 is qualified to become a politician!
Gene_Bland
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An AD is published by the Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) of the FAA. A Suplemental Structural Inspection Document (SSID) is published by Boeing. One supports the other Boeing backing SW means they consider the SSID has not been compromised. Boeing's SSID has no weight with the AD unless it is properly submitted to the ACO to obtain an Alternate Means Of Compliance (AMOC). SW still must comply with the AD however the AMOC allows them to have an "equivalent level of safety" by complying with the support of Boeing's SSID. FAA management was complicent when they authorized an extension. Only the ACO can do that and only with an AMOC. It is important to understand that AD's are written in blood. It is impossible that the calibre of maintenance in a 121 Air Carrier could miss an AD at 4500 cycles. It ain't gonna happen.
Mary121
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I think everyone who flew on any southwest flights during the time period that they did not inspect planes should sue for as much money as they possibly can. Southwest's hedging bets ran out just as this happened. When their hedging bet ran out they were in the same boat as Continental and American and the others and would have had to raise fares - OR CUT SAFETY MAINTENANCE - PURE AND SIMPLE. THE AIRLINE SHOULD BE "GROUNDED" FOR GOOD.
Patrick
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I love flying SWA and have been a big supporter for years. I am extremely dissappointed in this lapse of judgement, but even more disgusted by management's reaction. Calling inspections "redundant" and diminishing the importance of following safety protocal is irresponsible. I wish the company would admit their mistake and then spend the PR time telling us how they will prevent this from happening in the future.
Anonymous4371
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Patrick, I have seen many comments that Southwest should "admit their mistake." THEY ALREADY DID. They did so in March of 2007 when they SELF-REPORTED the issue. Then, they worked with the FAA and Boeing to come up with a plan to address the issue, which they did. And in April of 2007 it appears that all parties were satisfied that the issue had been appropriately resolved. I have no idea why the FAA has decided a year later that suddenly they are no longer satisfied, but because Southwest SELF-REPORTED and worked IN GOOD FAITH with the appropriate organizations to come up with a mutually-accepted solution ... and then implemented that solution ... there is really nothing left for Southwest to "admit."
Tripp_Frohlichs
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Why would any airline risk the safety of its passengers? Whether it is the human equation or from a business point of view (poor safety record will scare away passengers), it is in the airlines' best interests to be as safe as possible. Southwest has a wonderful track record of safety (and honesty) - that alone should say a lot. As a frequent flyer, I do, indeed, have confidence in Southwest and trust them with my life.
Shaun3
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The Company did admit their mistake...thats why we're here discussing it. Obviously some of you dont have the slightest clue. Ground SWA airplanes? Tell me again why you dont think their safe? Once again 37 years without a single maintenance related accident. #1 safest airline in the nation, #2 in the world. But I guess that doesnt mean anything. You get a report of a violation because SWA owned up to it and now the opinions of the media and a politician say the airline is a horrible safety violator. Millions and millions of people flown safely since 1971. Bob McKay..Those planes were never unfit to fly. If SWA leadership was that concerned about profits they would have followed suit with every other airline and laid people off and put their families on the street. They trust their Employees, thats why its an employee owned airline. When you get in the office today tell Oberstar I said hello.
haole_boy
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SO many post's that i'd like to comment on .. but here are a few .. PETER's post- it was southwest that disclosed the missed inspections to the FAA .. not the other way around as you misstated .. BOB MACKAY's post - boeing never said the planes were ok to fly .. what they said was ".. the safety of the southwest fleet was not compromised .." it was the FAA inspectors that said the planes were still ok to fly by approving what southwest did to fix the problem and by not grounding them back in '07 .. remember .. it was one year ago that SW .. on it's own .. disclosed the missed inspections .. why only now after the FAA had accepted the fix and closed the issue is it being addressed by a fine? MARY's post - 'sue em' southwest's fuel hedging had not ended then .. and in fact .. still .. HAS NOT ENDED .. oops .. i guess you'll have to find another reason to 'sue em'. PATRICKS's post - taken out of context .. what gary actually said was " .. Standby Rudder PCU is redundant; meaning, it is never powered on the vast majority of flights. To date, Southwest has performed the PCU check at issue more than 200 times with zero failures .. " .. part of a statement made in response to mr. oberstar's news conference in which he (oberstar) raised an issue that was not even what the FAA fine is about!! MACH 1, DokF.Doe post's - read them and read them again .. logical .. common sense .. and obviously knowledgeable .. good post's .. mahalo ;) MY 2 cents - .. i fly southwest .. american .. aloha, hawaiian, and others depending on when and where i need to go .. and feel as safe on southwest as on any other .. the cost (to ANY carrier) of an airline disaster including things such as death benefit payouts etc., not to mention the loss of revenue due to people changing to another carrier would FAR outweigh any monies save by 'skating' around a safety inspection and/or an FAA fine .. so to those of you that think southwest was just trying to save a few $$$ .. and/or if you think southwest is where it is by doing stupid things like so many of you are claiming .. you are sadly mistaken and i say .. THINK AGAIN!! i say .. southwest did the right then back then and is doing so now by fighting this seemingly politically motivated issue ..
Josh18
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As a SWA employee working at Headquarters here in Dallas in the Technology dept, I can tell you that the safety of our customers is paramount to even me. I can also tell you, without any hesitations, that Southwest does NOT skimp on maintenance or cut corners in ways that could jeopardize the safety of our customers in any way for a profit. Now, how does a techno-geek have any impact on whether we are safe? And, what proof do I have that SWA doesn't cut corners? In the past year, I have worked on two projects to deploy or improve applications to our frontline mechanics that would provide them with better and simpler access to manuals, bulletins, maintenance records of aircraft, etc. to improve their ability to keep our aircraft safe. These systems dramatically improved our maintenance staffs ability to keep our aircraft safe and in the air. I even had one mechanic stop me at a local restaurant (he saw my SWA Technology t-shirt) and thank me for one of the applications deployed last year. The fact that SWA is spending money to purchase, or develop in house, tools that will ensure our maintenance staff have the most accurate, best, and readily available information about our aircraft available to them at all times dispells the statements that we are cutting corners to ensure profit. We employees understand the fundamental reasons why we have been the best, most profitable airline in this country - our customers come first - ALWAYS! This airline is not about making money, it is about serving the people of this country. We view our company as one that is a customer service provider....that just happens to fly airplanes. We never forget that, and I can tell you that everytime I walk through the terminal here at LUV, I proudly display my SWA badge, talk to customers, smile at kids, and try to make sure that everyone I see is experiencing the LUV this airline is all about. We've survived worse turbulence than this, and I am sure we'll have clear skies again soon.
Chuck_N_
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Why is Southwest and SWA employees deliberately avoiding discussion of recent news (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC) about SWA knowingly flying uninspected planes with corrupt FAA Supervisors permission while the FAA Inspectors who report this are punished? But then they blow the whistle, and FAA higher ups reveals the truth about SWA... Hey SWA(and employees) read about Mark Lund in Businessweek then explain yourself! This won't be posted, but I'll take a screen print and post other places to prove that SWA won't post this.
nsx
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You are now free to believe whatever version of these events fits your preconceived notions. Version 1: Out of control greedy corporation compromises safety to save a buck. Their planes are going to start falling out of the sky any day now. It's only by sheer luck that this hasn't ever happened in the 37-year history of the airline. The FAA, Congress, and media are all on the side of the angels, fighting this evil corporation. Version 2: Out of control FAA tells Southwest that it's OK to follow Boeing's assessment and continue to fly for 10 days while inspecting, because even a 4-inch crack won't come close to bringing a plane down. FAA feels the heat from a politician connected to a competing airline and decides to deflect attention to Southwest by reversing this earlier decision. Motivated only by ratings, media fans the flames of this auto-da-fe. Gullible viewers believe the media version. Take your pick of these, or make up your own version. It's a fun game. Everyone can play!
David52
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To J.P. 31 years experience as a pilot and aircraft owner give me a fairly good idea of what I'm talking about. My family is in the business. My grandfather retired from TWA as a Captain and all we talked about is aviation before he died. The FAA won't let let ADs slide during my annuals and it won't let SWA either. When you own aircraft (three so far, the latest is a 76 Warrior), you learn the importance of good recordkeeping and paperwork management. Thanks for the challenge though. Oh, BTW, I still fly on SWA.
IndustryInsider
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This is a very complex issue, but let me try to bring it down to the simplest and most accurate terms. 1) Yes, SWA did self-disclose the Airworthiness Directive (AD) non-compliance. 2) Under the rules governing self-disclosure (FAA Advisory Circular AC 00-58A), the carrier must answer the following question: Did the non-compliance cease upon the date of disclosure? SWA answered yes. 3) The non-compliance did not cease upon the date of disclosure of non-compliance. The continued to fly the airplanes from the March 15 disclosure until March 23. 4) There is no grace period for AD compliance after you have disclosed the non-compliance. 5) No one, not the FAA Administrator, not Boeing, or the even the President has the authority to waive those Federal rules, and certainly not an FAA Supervisory Maintenance Inspector. 6) Thus, Boeing's so-called statement cited by SWA was meaningless and carries no weight. It was a matter of Federal law......there are no exceptions allowed. 6) The self-disclosure required an immediate grounding of the 46 airplanes as of the date of disclosure. At that point, they were no longer legal to carry passengers. Thus, the issue is one of the illegality of flying the airplanes for a number of days after discovering the problem. It is really very black and white. Discovery of non-compliance with an AD requires immediate grounding until the inspections were completed.......not a even one hour later, and certainly not 1451 flights and 8 days later.
Bill_Aviles
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ItÃ
Anonymous880
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As an employee of Southwest Airlines, I have to say that I am saddened by the news of the lack of inspections required. I don't know who's to blame, but I hate the fact that now people wonder if "IT IS SAFE TO FLY SOUTHWEST". Working for Southwest for the past 10 yrs, I do see us as the safest airline! Knock on wood, but we have never had a fatality of a passenger due to the "Unmentionable"! (There are certain words that airline employees don't use, so interpret "unmentionable" as what a race car would do in an accident). Although I do not agree with all the changes that Southwest is doing, I do believe that we are the safest airline! The FAA knew about overlooked-checks, and they did nothing about it! Again, someone needs to be held responsible for this!!!! Not only SWA employee's ,who knew what needed to be done, but also the FAA for not enforcing their own policies and procedures. We have an incredible record for safety, on-time performance and the least customer complaints among major airlines. Looking back to over a year ago, even though some checks were not performed on 46 or so of our fleet of over 400, and no incidents occurred, is another reason to believe that we either identified any problems, or that the risk factors were low. Pilots have no knowledge of when checks are to made on their aircraft "for the day", and rest assured that every pilot and flight attendant has a family that they intend to come home to at the end of their trip! When a crew arrives first thing in the morning, or during a crew change during the day, the First Officer does a "Walk Around" and inspects the plane. If something is found that could compromise the flight, he or she tells the Captain, and depending on the findings, the flight is either delayed, cancelled, or Maintenance is called out for the aircraft. Some other airlines (who I won't name), contract out "pre-flight checks" to non-company employees. No employee of Southwest is going to risk their own life, or the life of others, just for keeping the flight "on-time"! We have your best interest, and ourÃ
theBIGSHOW
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MAYBE MR. Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, NEED TO DIVERT MORE OF HIS ATTENTION ON THE CRACKS ON THE BRIDGES IN MINNESOTA THAN SWA AIRCRAFTS.
Concerned_Passe
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Traci Thomas, How much are YOU being paid? 🙂
Concerned_Passe
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<> If you do a cost/benefit analysis, which all businesses perform, then you would agree with what BOB said above. If you know nothing about how large business entities work then you shouldn't be blindly blogging. They say one thing to your face, but another behind closed doors. Take the "Flaming Ford" issue (Feel free to research for yourself): Ford found it was cheaper to pay a death benefit to the family that had a loved one killed in one of their cars then to retool for a $1 rubber bladder to be placed inside the gas tank of their Pinto. That bladder would have saved peoples lives. The cost was too much though. Ford Aerostar and Ranger had fire problems as well. Just one case in many. SWA - Just one large corporation among many.
Christian
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You really think SWA is the only airline with safety issues? No one is perfect, but let me reassure you, SWA has the best safety record of any airline. Thats a fact, not an opinion. Take a look at how many crashes SWA has had since it started flying. The answer is 0. That includes the runoff from midway field where a passenger car was hit. Not one single passenger has ever died in the hands of SWA resulting from a crash. Remember SWA flies more passengers than any other airline out there. Too bad United, America, Delta, Continental, etc. couldn't do the same. As far as people complaining about assigned seating, peanuts in service, what do you expect when your paying cheaper fares than you did in the late 1990's with gas at 108 a barrel. You get what you pay for. Right now, SWA is cheaper than driving. Speaking of driving, how many people die on the roads every year? How many passengers died? And this is cheaper than driving! You have the nerve to complain. By the way, good job in Denver SWA! Hope you shut down Frontier, which you will! All these other airlines are at the brink of bein liquidated, begging to merge with one another, while you continue to boast profits. So if you want to complain some more then go drive and buckle your seatbelt. And please, stay in the right lane!
Josh18
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Chuck N. You seem to continue to repost the same blatant admonishment of SWA, attacking the character, safety, and integrity of the airline and its employees by saying that this blog is skewed towards those that support SWA, and stating that the moderators of this blog will not post what you keep spewing out - yet that is exactly what they are doing. So, now that you have been proven wrong on three occasions by having your posts allowed, will you please either come up with some insightful new information that can back up your hatred for SWA, or please just quit?
IndustryInsider
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The real bottom line is this: Had SWA grounded the airplanes in question until they completed all the inspections AND on the same date the airline disclosed the non-compliance to the FAA, there would have been NO story. Thus, it is rather ridiculous to charge some sort of government or political "conspiracy" here. Of course, they would have had to explain the schedule disruption to their customers, and it would have caused lost revenue. However, in a "cost-benefit" analysis, which would have been more damaging? My guess is that the airline maintenance officials involved didn't expect to get caught. Has this occurred at other airlines? Yes, no doubt, but it is the FAA's job to find as many of these as possible. It is the core reason that commercial airline travel is so safe. You are far more likely to be injured in your bathtub, than on any commercial aircraft in the U.S. However, the very reason airline travel is so safe is that the rules are incredibly rigorous, and must remain rigorously ENFORCED! I am hopeful and reasonably confident that SWA will benefit from this in the long run, and that the safety of the traveling public will benefit too. Every now and then both the FAA and the airlines need a "wake-up call." This served that purpose, and it is far more productive to be proactively enforcing the rules BEFORE an accident happens rather than reacting to a horrible tragedy.
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[...] Thomas Steinmetz wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI get to fly for Ã
Jon1
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Sorry...I know its long, but I had a lot to say. I don' pretend to be an expert on airline maintenance and I don't pretend to know what the underlying motivations were that drove Southwest and the FAA to act in the ways that they did. I do understand that many American's have become increasingly distrustful of big corporations (especially profitable ones) in light of corporate scandals like Enron and WorldCom. But it is unfair and, dare I say, ignorant to assume that any company that is making profit will resort to illegal or unethical behavior to protect its profitability. That just simply is not the case. Don't be too quick to jump to the conclusion that Southwest was only thinking about the bottom line when they decided to keep flying the planes that didn't pass inspection. The fact that Southwest reported the discrepancies to the FAA instead of covering them up shows a level of corporate transparency and responsibility that is all too rare these days. Furthermore, any profit that Southwest would stand to gain by flying a number of "unsafe" airplanes would be far outweighed by a potential crash, something IÃ
Concerned_Passe
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Airlines that Ã
Angela11
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unconscionable business practice to put the general public in harms way.... no longer should we tolerate second rate safety measures.... the railroad industry has gotten away with it long enough! Would seem the fine is indeed minimally warranted to ensure other Airlines comply with FAA industry ("watchdog" standards) and I use the term loosely You are lucky nithing happenned - but I don't like yo u playing russian roulette with my life!! its inescuseable business practice and a simple aurtomated account would keep this on schedule!! last itme I'll fly you !!
Herkpilot
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Dear industryinsider, Let's try to avoid the "baffle em' with BS" approach, shall we? You are putting out only part of the truth but sound authoritative (the BS part). You have no idea what the FAA told SWA but we do know what SWA told the FAA. A full disclosure, which has been verified by the former chief investigator for the NTSB. As a pilot who has become intimately familiar with the rules and laws over 25 years I know your statement is misleading at least and depending on the circumstance flat out wrong. While all the rest of you hand-wringing knuckleheads work yourselves into a lather, I'm getting on a Southwest jet in a couple days and I'm going to fly everywhere I can. For those of you who are concerned but have a mature approach which involves getting the facts before you allow your head to spinoff into oblivion, good on ya'. The boneheads at the FAA will likely get taken to the woodshed but SWA will be vindicated. As I said on a previous post, had the FAA wanted to they could've grounded every airplane at their next stop if they fealt there was an issue. They did not. If that was their misstep, then so be it. SWA did nothing to coverup anything and are being fined for complying with what the engineers at Boeing and the FAA directed them to do. Granted, they shouldn't have missed documenting the inspection of that last 0.6% of the area required in the AD, which may have actually been performed but not documented. What would you do under similar circumstances? Would you have the integrity to do what SWA did, understanding at the time that there could be serious financial penalties resulting from your self-disclosure? The question really is why did the FAA first tell SWA the matter was resolved then come back a year later with an unprecedented fine? Is SWA moving further into Northwest's/Rep Oberstar's turf? Sick the FAA on them.
flying_mom
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Steven, Do you really think American has a better safety record??? "We will gladly pay more to fly American, because we value the saftey of our employees and their families."
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[...] Malatesta wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptSteven, Do you really think American has a better safety record??? Ã
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[...] Janice wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptMalatesta wrote an interesting post today onHereÃ