By Keith Laing - 04/04/11 09:20 PM EDT
Southwest said over the weekend that it was delaying about 300 flights to check 79 of its Boeing 737-300s, which is the type of plane involved in aborted flight 812, slated to fly from Phoenix, Ariz. to Sacramento, Ca.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Monday every carrier using planes from the 737-300 series must double-check theirs, too.
"Safety is our number one priority,” LaHood said in a statement announcing the decision. “Last Friday’s incident was very serious and could result in additional action depending on the outcome of the investigation.”
The mandate will cover about 175 airplanes, the FAA said. FAA administrator Randy Babbitt said it was necessary because cracks like the ones on the Southwest plane were difficult to detect in standard inspection.
“This action is designed to detect cracking in a specific part of the aircraft that cannot be spotted with visual inspection,” Babbitt said in a release.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.