Saturday, March 08, 2008

in all fairness

I received yet another email from Southwest Airlines this morning. It confirmed my suspicions. Some excerpts:

The FAA penalty is related to one of many routine inspections on our aircraft fleet involving an extremely small area in one of the many overlapping inspections. These inspections were designed to detect early signs of skin cracking.

Southwest Airlines discovered the missed inspection area, disclosed it to the FAA, and promptly reinspected all potentially affected aircraft in March 2007. The FAA approved our actions and considered the matter closed as of April 2007.
(emphasis added)

Also of note:

The Boeing Company has stated its support of Southwest's aggressive compliance plan. Southwest acted responsibly and the safety of the fleet was not compromised, Boeing said.

Former National Transportation Safety Board Inspector-in-Charge Greg Feith said after a review of the available data and information that it’s apparent that there was no risk to the flying public in March 2007...

My guess? CNN was a year late to the dance on this, but smelled blood in the water nonetheless. From reading the CNN article, you'd think the planes were held together by duct tape and chewing gum. This is the kind of reactionary sensationalism I expect from Fox News. But it's nice to know that CNN is taking its cues from The Onion.

Read more about SWA's response.