stress fractures

Airline Safety
8:01 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Boeing helps with Southwest Airlines investigation

A Southwest Airlines jet, a Boeing 737-300, takes off from the Tampa, Fla., airport in January. The plane is coming under scrutiny after a section of a Southwest Airlines jet ripped open during a flight in the skies of Arizona last week.
AP

Boeing says it’s providing technical assistance to federal aviation regulators and to Southwest Airlines in the wake of Friday’s mid-flight incident where a hole appeared in the skin of a 737 airliner at 34,000 feet.

The Seattle Times reports that the sudden rupture has experts concerned because the stress-related failure of the aircraft’s aluminum skin occurred mid-fuselage. That's a place that was not previously thought to be vulnerable to that kind of damage. 

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