Written by Faith Anderson on September 13, 2011
Repair Facility Allegedly Fails to Perform Proper Repairs
The FAA is proposing to fine Aviation Technical Services for allegedly failing to do all the work required by FAA mandates, which include repetitive inspections to find and repair fatigue cracks in the fuselage skins of aircraft. After the inspections, the repair company allegedly failed to install the fasteners in the fuselage skin. According to FAA administrator Randy Babbitt, “Aircraft can be operated safely for many years if all the maintenance work is performed properly. It is critical to follow all the required steps.” According to a statement issued by Aviation Technical Services however, the company claims that, “With regard to this regulatory matter, we are cooperating fully with the FAA and are confident that our systems and protocols meet or exceed every industry standard for maintenance excellence and safety.”
Large Hole Found in Fuselage of Southwest Plane
Last April, a large hole appearance in the fuselage of Southwest Flight 812, causing the rapid depressurization of the cabin as it reached 34,000 feet. The flight crew was forced to initiate an emergency landing at a Yuma International Airport in Arizona, and no one was seriously injured. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a tear in the fuselage skin occurred in the “lap joint,” which is where two sections of skin overlap and are joined together with three rows of closely spaced rivets. At that time, federal officials and the plane’s manufacturers immediately ordered inspections of all similar aircraft, including the Southwest Boeing 737s associated with the proposed FAA fine. Of the 136 planes inspected, four were found to have crack indications at a single rivet, and one was found to have crack indications at two rivets.