April 3, 2011- Southwest Airlines restricted some of its fleet to ground duty yesterday after a passenger plane with a hole in its substructure had no choice but to make an emergency landing at an Arizona military station on Friday.
The airline grounded close to of 80 of its planes for a checkup which resulted in over 300 flights being cancelled yesterday.
Southwest Flight 812 on route from Phoenix was almost an hour into the flight to Sacramento, California, when the plane was deprived of cabin pressure.
Southwest said the flight was immediately sent to close by Yuma Marine Corps Air Station located in Arizona. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representative Ian Gregor stated the pilot then went on to “controlled descent from 36,000 feet to 11,000 feet altitude.”
After a successful landing, the plane crew found a huge hole in the top of the Boeing passenger jet where part of the roof had ripped off.
“Obviously we’re dealing with a skin issue, and we believe that these 80 airplanes are covered by a set of [federal safety rules] that make them candidates to do this additional inspection that Boeing is devising for us,” said Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Linda Rutherford.