Southwest Plane With Hole in Roof Lands at PTI

TIMCO confirms it will perform repairs on 737 jet, no further comment

Staff Writer
6:24 PM EDT, April 13, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP)

A Southwest Airlines plane that made world headlines after a 5-foot gash opened up at 35,000 feet landed in Greensboro on Wednesday for permanent repairs.

The Boeing 737-300 left Dallas’s Love Field for Piedmont Triad International Airport around 3 p.m. eastern time and landed around 5:15 p.m. Love Field is the home field of Southwest Airlines.

The plane had been undergoing repairs in Yuma, Arizona, and was flown to Love Field on Wednesday morning. PTI does not service Southwest flights, but a major repair facility, TIMCO, is located on the property. TIMCO officials confirmed they will be repairing the plane but declined further comment.

On April 1, Flight 812 was on a flight from Phoenix to Sacramento when it experienced explosive decompression that caused a rip in the pressurized fuselage. Passengers reached for oxygen masks, and the pilots rapidly descended to 10,000 feet, where oxygen isn’t required. The pilots then diverted to the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, which shares runways with Yuma International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration immediately ordered inspections of 600 older model 737-300s, -400s and -500s with at least 30,000 takeoffs and landings. The FAA emergency airworthiness directive also requires re-inspections of the suspect jetliners every 500 flights.

Five of Southwest’s 79 other 737-300s were found with the same kind of cracks believed to have caused the problem on Flight 812.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011, WGHP-TV

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