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.
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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.
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