Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. pic)

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Sulako
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Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. pic)

Post by Sulako »

http://www.wfaa.com/news/national/South ... 99084.html

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YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — A Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Sacramento, Calif., was diverted Friday to a military base in Yuma due to rapid decompression in the plane, federal officials said.

Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Los Angeles, said the cause of the decompression wasn't immediately known, but some passengers on Flight 812 said there was a hole in the cabin.

"You can see daylight through it," a passenger identified as Brenda Reese told Sacramento TV station KCRA by cellphone.

In a series of Tweeted messages, passenger Shawna Malvini Redden called the flight "hands down the scariest experience of my life."

Redden said she heard an "explosion sound, then a rush of air." She described a "six foot hole in the skin of the plane five rows behind me."

Dallas-based Southwest said there were no injuries among the 118 people aboard.

Passenger Redden said one flight attendant was hurt and a couple of passengers passed out. She credited the skill of the crew in making a safe landing.

Gregor said the plane landed safely at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station/International Airport at 4:07 p.m., less than an hour after takeoff from Sacramento International Airport. It was due to arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at 5:30 p.m.

Passengers became aware there was a problem when they heard a noise and felt the rush of wind and oxygen masks started dropping in the cabin, according to Reese.

She said a few people passed out "because their oxygen wasn't working. It was scary."

Reese said flight attendants went around the cabin aiding passengers. Emergency medical technicians were on board the plane treating passengers after it landed in Yuma.

Gregor said an FAA inspector from Phoenix was en route to Yuma to investigate the incident.

Gina Swankie, a spokeswoman for Sacramento International Airport, said Southwest was sending another plane to Yuma to take the passengers to Sacramento. They were expected to get to Sacramento around 8:30 p.m. Friday.

"I want to get home and hold my three children," Reese said.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by bizjets101 »

Wow, had to confirm the story being April Fools and all - but its the real deal!!

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA8 ... /KPHX/KNYL
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by Expat »

Too big to fail companies, protected by the government... :shock:
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by rigpiggy »

everybody hold on for another round of aging aircraft inspections
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by cgzro »

Compression/decompression cycles I imagine, like Aloha but obviously not as severe.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by iflyforpie »

Looks like the top fuselage lap joint. Similar to Aloha but lap reinforcements come in at 50,000 cycles now (nearly 40,000 fewer than Aloha 243 had when it failed).
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by RenegadeAV8R »


According to this link, the situation could be far worst than an aging issue.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by MichaelP »

Boeing have a fine history but it is one that has been reputed to be underhanded.
I worked for a small company that was in competition with Boeing.
Our company was building an SST at the time and this aeroplane was quite successful so Boeing have one in their museum.

A previous safe airliner with an excellent short field preformance this company built has just been put back into service as the C17's the RAF have have maintenance issues... The good (very) old reliable Vickers VC10 is doing its job again!
In competition with the 707 for the Indian Airlines contract, the American government gave the Indians a very good deal in support of the Boeing product, too good for Vickers without the same government help...
I wonder if there's a 707 out there with as many hours and cycles as the VC10 fleet average?

I know one friend of mine lost both engines on his side in a 707, they fell off, and the aircraft spiraled down to a safe landing on a French military field. (The high key, low key style approach!). Boeings aren't built as strong as Vickers/BAC products.

When I was inspecting pylons for the RB211-535(?) Boeing 747 there were rumours of threats to the 146 program if we didn't deliver them on time... Something about Boeing giving a south American country Fokkers in preference to the DH/HS/BAe 146.

Isn't the WTO questioning the current unfair subsidies given to Boeing?

I'll make sure my seat belt is as tight as ever when I'm next in a 737 8)
At least they don't seem to open up like a Comet.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by iflyforpie »

The Concorde successful? Please! Maybe a technological success but with only 14 commercial airframes produced and operated under subsidy they were dismal economic failures.

You can't really compare the VC-10 in military service to the 707 in civilian service. The KC-135s are older than the VC-10s and still in service with the USAF and Armee de L'Air in spite of being designed to 'safe life' rather than 'fail safe' standards like the 707.

Remember the BAC Trident? Retired in the mid-80s with wing fatigue cracks. Boeing's 727 still continues in service 25 years later. Far too many wings designed by Hawker Siddley for Airbus have failed their ultimate strength tests, including the A330 and A380.

Boeing meanwhile...



I've worked on Boeing 737-200s with 80,000 hours and 65,000 cycles. They looked like crap with their boilerplate patches and lap reinforcements, but they were still safe to operate. The only european aircraft that can begin to compare is the A320, but it was designed 20 years later. The 737 NGs have reduced pressure differential to reduce stress on their fuselages.


Every single company out there has scandal and secrets and uses every opportunity to get a leg up on the competition. Remember the cover-up after the A320 flew itself into the trees in front of thousands of people? They switched the FDRs and hung the pilots out to dry so that sales wouldn't be affected.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by MichaelP »

You can't really compare the VC-10 in military service to the 707 in civilian service.
I can and I did.

Some of the RAF Super VC10s are ex commercial airliners! East African Airways!
We built the fuel tanks for the air to air refueling system at Weybridge and I had the job of inspecting the first lot.
It was to Weybridge's chagrin that the RAF managed to put a crack in a fin spar while doing stall testing. This was the only time there was a structural issue with this aircraft.

I was there with the final five Concorde fuselages being assembled at Weybridge. This was a fantastic aircraft, and British Airways maintenance did a good job of looking after them.
I learned all about CM alloys... I was doing materials inspection at the time.
Remember the BAC Trident? Retired in the mid-80s with wing fatigue cracks.
Never heard of a BAC Trident.
There was a de Havilland DH121 Trident AKA the Hawker Siddeley Trident and that was a tough aeroplane.

From Wikipedia: "In 1977, fatigue cracks were discovered in the wings of the British Airways Trident fleet. The aircraft were ferried back to the manufacturer, and repaired, then returned to service.
In total, 117 Tridents were produced, while the Boeing 727, built to the original airline specification for the Trident, sold over 1,700."

The BAC aeroplane was the Hunting Percival 1-11 and this was a really strong aeroplane that could suffer two separate bombings blowing the side of the fuselage out above the engines.

The construction of the de Havilland aeroplanes was redux bonding, the 146 followed this method which was used in the Comet.
Vickers aeroplanes were framed in classical fashion and were easy to repair and very very strong.

I think what I am perhaps considering having read the article is that inspection/quality standards might be dropping.
I am known here for upsetting the mechanics from time to time... Sorry, I was brought up with British CAIPs and I can't get out of the habit of noticing when stiff nuts are not in safety...
I was told by one mechanic once on this airfield "that's old BS".
Maintenance standards are my biggest worry flying in Canada.

If such standards are applied in the manufacture of civil airliners, we're all in for a sad time.

I looked out on the leading edges of the Thai Airways A310 the other day... Once upon a time these were mine!
What a lot of pooh I went through to try and ensure they met the standards before they left my eyes and were flown to Mannheim... That was 1982.
I had to be hard then, otherwise we'd send out a load of c..p. The germans already complained about tea bags, rags, torches and tools in the wing tanks... My leading edges never evoked complaint but it wasn't without effort :shock:

We rely on greater automation in the production of aircraft parts these days, but the old business of QA/Inspection is vital to ensure safety.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by iflyforpie »

MichaelP wrote:
You can't really compare the VC-10 in military service to the 707 in civilian service.
I can and I did.
You misunderstood.

Aircraft in military service don't have to justify themselves economically and only fly a fraction of the hours and cycles as their civilian counterparts. A far more fair comparison would be the current E-3 and E-6 aircraft--many of which also started their lives as civilian airliners--and are still in front-line military service with very few difficulties in maintaining them.
Remember the BAC Trident? Retired in the mid-80s with wing fatigue cracks.
Never heard of a BAC Trident.
There was a de Havilland DH121 Trident AKA the Hawker Siddeley Trident and that was a tough aeroplane.
Sorry, I meant BAe, which it all became in the end. Wing cracks to me equals not tough. Well, there was one aircraft I worked on, the Convair 580, which did have a wing cracking AD where cracks would form at the ends of the fingers of the fuel tank panel doublers. The solution, stop drill holes at the end of each crack and monitor. No cracks ever went past the holes, and once a certain number of aircraft got the cracks, they stopped appearing. The last new crack that was found was 20 years previous. They figured it was a small variation in the material tolerances of the wing planks. These aircraft had nearly 100,000 hours and 150,000 cycles.


I think what I am perhaps considering having read the article is that inspection/quality standards might be dropping.
I am known here for upsetting the mechanics from time to time... Sorry, I was brought up with British CAIPs and I can't get out of the habit of noticing when stiff nuts are not in safety...
I was told by one mechanic once on this airfield "that's old BS".
Maintenance standards are my biggest worry flying in Canada.

Standards are dropping everywhere, not just in Canada. But at the same time, the number of hoops we have to jump through and oversight is increasing. Maintenance error is only responsible for a fraction of the accidents out there. At the airline level, I have not seen any maintenance practices in Canada that would cause me not to fly on the plane. Those that disregard standards do so no matter what they are, and they are not absent from Britain (remember the BAC 111 that lost its windscreen?).


If such standards are applied in the manufacture of civil airliners, we're all in for a sad time.
I did have the pleasure of breaking the factory seals on a West Jet Boeing 737-700 we were doing a Live TV mod on, and I was impressed with the workmanship. Not just the nice paint and the lack of dirt and corrosion inhibiting compounds slathered all over the place, but that all the nuts were in safety, the rivet tails were even and smoothly bucked, the compete absence of swarf and loose rivet tails, and that each piece came off and went on with precision.

Concurrently, I was working on an Alaska Airlines 737-900 that had over 18,000 hours and 15,000 cycles in seven years of service. The plane was dirty, CPC slathered everywhere, but we did a C-Check and snag rectification in less than a week because other than niggly stuff there was nothing wrong with the aircraft. No corrosion, no cracks, no airworthiness defects.

And those are the hardest hours a plane can fly. 747s, 707s, and VC-10s have the easiest hours, long sectors with way more hours than cycles. Compare a 152 in a flight school to a private Bonanza and that is the beating your average 737 receives compared to other--even much older--airliners.

I looked out on the leading edges of the Thai Airways A310 the other day... Once upon a time these were mine!
What a lot of pooh I went through to try and ensure they met the standards before they left my eyes and were flown to Mannheim... That was 1982.
I had to be hard then, otherwise we'd send out a load of c..p. The germans already complained about tea bags, rags, torches and tools in the wing tanks... My leading edges never evoked complaint but it wasn't without effort :shock:

We rely on greater automation in the production of aircraft parts these days, but the old business of QA/Inspection is vital to ensure safety.

I don't know about other mechanics, but this one and every one I meet loves to find defects. We love being the bearer of bad news. Go have a gander at the 737 hulk at YXX they use for structural training. That was a line aircraft that Aloha Airlines scrapped upon news that the 'texas star' (a major structural member in the tail) was found corroded and needed replacement. There will always be a place for flesh and bone QA on the floor.

The automation simply makes the job of manufacturing faster and more consistent. Take a turbine module from even 40 years ago and have a close look at the weld beads. They are so consistent that they never could have been made by human hands.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by hawker driver »

iflyforpie wrote:Looks like the top fuselage lap joint. Similar to Aloha but lap reinforcements come in at 50,000 cycles now (nearly 40,000 fewer than Aloha 243 had when it failed).

It was just reported that the Southwest aircraft had 39000 cycles on it.
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Re: Southwest jet has rapid decompression, 6 foot hole (w. p

Post by c170b53 »

Also one piece skins and short of its design life.
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