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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