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How come when it happens on SW it "Appears", but on anyone else it "Rips apart suddenly"?



Southwest 737 Diverts After a Hole Appears in the RoofCF=0AThe Cranky Flier=
=0A[Accidents/Incidents/Southwest] Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:18:35 AM=0A=0A=
Here=E2=80=99s=0Aa weird one for you. Yesterday, Southwest flight 2294 dive=
rted to=0ACharleston, West Virginia when a football-sized hole opened up in=
 the=0Atop of the fuselage. And thanks to the magic of Twitter, someone had=
 posted a picture from inside the cabin right after it happened.  Click at =
left to blow it up.=0ASouthwest 2294 was supposed to go from Nashville to B=
altimore. It=0Aappears that as it passed through 34,000 feet on the way to =
its cruise=0Aaltitude, the hole opened up and the plane lost pressure. The =
crew sent=0Athe plane into a rapid descent (as required in order to get to=
=0Abreathable air) and 7 minutes later they were at 11,000 feet.=0AIn case =
you were wondering, that descent would normally take at least=0Adouble that=
 amount of time if not more. About 20 minutes after that,=0Athey had an une=
ventful landing in Charleston, West Virginia.=0AAll accounts that I=E2=80=
=99ve seen have said that Southwest handled this=0Areally well. The plane w=
as on the ground just after 6p, and Southwest=0Awas able to find a new plan=
e, get it to Charleston (a place they don=E2=80=99t=0Aserve) and get back i=
n the air at 945p. They arrived in Baltimore a=0Alittle more than four hour=
s after original scheduled arrival. An=0Aimpressive move, indeed.=0ANow let=
=E2=80=99s get back to that airplane. This was N387SW, a 737-300 that=0Awas=
 delivered brand new to the airline on June 29, 1994. So it=E2=80=99s only=
=0Aabout 15 years old. (Fun fact for me: I actually rode that plane on=0ANo=
vember 18, 1994 from Phoenix to Burbank.)=0AI=E2=80=99m sure we=E2=80=99ll =
hear plenty of speculation that compares this=0Arelatively minor incident t=
o Aloha Airlines 243, the plane that became=0Aa convertible mid-flight. Don=
=E2=80=99t remember that one? Maybe this will=0Arefresh your memory.=0AThat=
=E2=80=99s right. This one truly became a convertible. Incredibly, the=0Aon=
ly person who died was a flight attendant who wasn=E2=80=99t strapped in. T=
he=0Aplane landed safely, and it was impressive enough for a cheesy TV movi=
e=0Ato be made about it. But let=E2=80=99s not jump to conclusions about th=
is=0ASouthwest flight. =0AThe Aloha incident started with a small hole as t=
his Southwest one=0Adid, but then something went wrong. The 737 fuselage is=
 designed so=0Athat if a hole does develop, it will remain isolated. That=
=E2=80=99s what=0Ahappened with the Southwest flight, and the aircraft main=
tained=0Astructural integrity. For that reason, this was effectively a non-=
event.=0AThe Aloha flight was on a 19 year old 737-200, an earlier version =
of=0Athe 737 than in the Southwest incident. That aircraft had frequent,=0A=
short flights in salty and humid conditions that ended up causing=0Acorrosi=
on. So on that plane, the initial hole, caused by corrosion,=0Aquickly crea=
ted outdoor seating as the fuselage gave way. That led to=0Asome major chan=
ges in terms of corrosion inspection.=0AOn the Southwest plane, the questio=
n is a more simple one. Since the=0Afuselage stayed intact, the only real q=
uestion is . . . what caused the=0Ahole in the first place? That=E2=80=99s =
what I=E2=80=99ll be interested in finding out. 

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