Probe of Boeing jet fuselage tears slowed by lack of records

Probe of Boeing jet fuselage tears slowed by lack of records

Credit: AP

In this photo provided by passenger Brenda Reese, unidentified passengers take photos with cell phones of a hole in the cabin on a Southwest Airlines aircraft Friday, April 1, 2011 in Yuma, Ariz.

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 21 at 8:18 AM

Boeing did not keep manufacturing records for two jetliners on which the fuselages tore open in flight in the past year, reports Bloomberg, hampering the investigation into those incidents. Federal officials say the company didn’t have to keep them.

The first incident happened Oct. 26, 2010 on an American Airlines 757-200. The second happened on a Southwest Airlines 737-300 on April 1. Both jets made emergency landings.

In a report on the American incident, the NTSB wrote that records for the manufacturing of the skin panels on that jetliner were not required to be retained. The NTSB ultimately found the skin on the American jet was too thin which led to cracks, but without manufacturing records, it could not find the manufacturing source of the problem.

The Southwest problem has been linked to rivets not being properly secured when the jet was built 15 years ago, according to Boeing and the NTSB. Records of how those rivets were installed and inspected also don’t exist, Bloomberg reports.

A Boeing spokeperson said the company "diligenty" follows the FAA's record retention rules.

To read more about why the records were not kept, visit Bloomberg.com

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