SAFETY FIRST

Southwest Failed to Inspect 128 Planes

Southwest Airlines has reached a last-minute deal witht he FAA to keep flying 128 of its planes for which it failed to perform mandatory rudder inspections. The deal allows Southwest a maximum of five days to complete the inspections. The airline had canceled around 80 flights Tuesday because of missed inspections of backup hydraulic systems. However if the 128 planes were kept out of commission, it would have resultedin thousands of delays and cancellations each day. Southwest notified federal safety regulators when it realized some of the planes were due for the checks. The backup systems in need of an inspection are used to control the rudder if the central system fails. The airline said the inspections will have a “very minimal impact” on Wednesday’s schedule.