Southwest Airlines grounds five more planes for cracks

The airline said that, despite removing the five planes, its flight scheduled would return to normal.

According to reports, because of an undetected crack in the fuselage, a large hole opened in the Boeing 737’s roof while in flight from Phoenix, Ariz. to Sacramento, Calif.. The plane made an emergency landing at an Air Force base in Yuma, Ariz.  None of the 118 passengers and five crewmembers aboard was injured.

The incident caused the Federal Aviation Administration to mandate that all airlines inspect their older 737s.
Southwest began its inspection voluntarily before the FAA order.
"Minor subsurface cracking was found in five aircraft that will remain out of service until Boeing recommends appropriate repairs and those repairs have been completed," the company said in a written statement. "Two aircraft are awaiting inspection, which will be completed within the next 24 hours, but Southwest is able to operate regularly scheduled service at this time."
The airline said it inspected 79 planes in all, which were all in a particular subset of about 300 737s operated by Southwest.