Many people ask me about the safety record at SWA. and I proceed to tell them that SWA has never had an inflight fatality of a passenger or a crew member. Sadly a young boy lost his life in a car struck by an overunning SWA 737 in an ice storm. I think
the NTSB might place a bit of responsibility on the PIC on judgement in landing long or too hot, for the IMC conditions at the time.
But the real reason for the unheard of Safety record is this;
#1 SWA only flies one aircraft type- the 737. sure, they have upgraded the 737 with different series numbers,
but it is essentially the same "TYPE". (as in "type rating" for a pilot)
#2 The PIC and the SIC only need to train in on one simulator, and fly one TYPE of aircraft.
#3 The flight technicians ( mechanics) only have to service, repair, or overhaul , one TYPE of aircraft
#4 The flight attendants only have to train for emergencies, only on one TYPE of aircraft.
This may not be the whole story of SWA's safety record, but it just makes sense that when the PIC or the SIC climbs aboard,
They've been there, done that, and have the "T" shirt to proove it. The same reasoning goes along with the other
disciplines. Training costs money, big money, but when the obligatory six months or less refreshers in the training simulators
they don't have to reinvent the wheel. If I need to go longer distances or avoid weather I always go SWA, instead of flying my
own aircraft. Sincerely, J. Richard Blissit
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I am an old, bold pilot ( they say there is no such animal) and happen to know the origin of the "N" prefix. It is really too simple to
be a question but when airplanes of the thirties were licenced, the National Aeronautic Association, ( FAA is the successor to the
NAA), airplanes all had the prefix of NC. Like the Spirit of St Louis had the NC prefix. As time went on the prefix number on an
airplane, the FAA dropped the "C" and the numbers just became N------. The people at Southwest will be happy to know that
my Aircraft Number is N 777 RB. Many people have coveted that number like Richard Bach and Reading and Bates Offshore Drilling Corp. and a host of others. I keep that number for many reasons, the most important reason is that I have had that number
for over 30 years, and was on my airplane, a highly modified turbocharged Beechcraft Bonanza that I piloted to WIN the
First Transatlantic Air Race in 1985, it was aptly named "The Spirit of Tulsa" I taught the Europeans and some American
hotshots how to win air races. The "N" number simply stands for "National".
With warm personal regards, Richard Blissit ( N 777 RB)
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