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Southwest Fined For Maintenance Lapses — AGAIN!

Southwest Fined For Maintenance Lapses — AGAIN!

Southwest is facing a $325,000 FAA fine for operating a Boeing 737 that didn’t make inspections and repairs in compliance to the agency’s guidelines.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) announced Monday it is proposing a $325,000 penalty against Southwest Airlines for allegedly operating a Boeing 737 not in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

In a press release, the FAA said that on July 9 its inspector conducted an aging aircraft inspection on a Southwest 737 that was docked at a maintenance facility in San Salvador, El Salvador. The inspector found that the airline improperly recorded a temporary repair to a nine-inch crease in the plane’s aluminum skin on its rear cargo door as a permanent repair.

The inspector said Southwest first reported this fuselage damage in its maintenance records on May 2, 2002, when the airline made the temporary repair. To meet FAA requirements, Southwest was required to inspect the temporary repair every 4,000 flights and make a permanent repair after 24,000 flights.

The FAA alleges Southwest operated the aircraft on 24,831 flights without performing the inspections required for the temporary repair. The agency also alleges the airline operated the plane on 4,831 flights beyond the flight threshold by which it was required to make the permanent repair. Southwest reportedly completed the final repair on July 24, 2014.

Southwest asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case, according to the FAA press release. This is not the first time Southwest has been fined over maintenance violations this year. In April, the FAA proposed fines totaling $328,000 over two incidents where the airline violated protocol in 2013. The FAA filed a lawsuit against Southwest in 2014 over $12 million in unpaid civil penalties penalties, all levied against the airlines for failure to make proper repair 44 aircraft.

Southwest was not immediately available for comment.

[Photo: Southwest Airlines]

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. edgewood49

    August 18, 2015 at 11:37 am

    So my question is why so many? It seems they continue to get fined and it does nothing to correct these issues. So is Profit ahead of Safety at SW ? It would appear so.

  2. diver858

    August 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    It gets worse – under Gary Kelly, Southwest challenges, refuses to pays fines and penalties for such serious infractions.

    Why is this not included in the top 5 articles on FT – the flying public should be warned of WN’s flagrant disregard for proper maintenance.

  3. Shuttle_Endeavour

    August 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Did nobody proof read this article before hitting publish?

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