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Southwest Airlines has been flying "unsafe" planes.

This is being called "the most serious lapse in aviation safety at the FAA that he's seen in 23 years", says Demacratic Minnesota Congressman, James Oberstar.

Congressional documents show Southwest Airlines flew thousands of passengers on aircraft deemed "unsafe" by federal inspectors.

Documents submitted by FAA inspectors to congressional investigators allege the airline flew at least 117 of its planes in violation of mandatory safety checks. In some cases, the documents say, the planes flew for 30 months after government inspection deadlines had passed and should have been grounded until the inspections could be completed.

[source:CNN]

3 comments

  1. Paula Berg - Southwest Airlines // March 6, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

    No one is more passionate about the safety of our Customers and Employees than we are, and it’s important for our Customers to know that this situation was never and is not now a safety of flight issue.

    The inspections in question were one of many routine, redundant, and overlapping inspections of our fleet. And, as a article from today’s Wall Street Journal accurately points out, we discovered the missed inspection ourselves, informed the FAA, and promptly completed the missed inspections in March 2007. The FAA approved our actions and considered the matter closed as of April 2007.

    Again, the safety of our Customers, Employees, and aircraft is always our number one concern. Southwest has an excellent maintenance program, and this experience has helped improve the overall safety of the fleet.

    Paula Berg
    Southwest Airlines

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