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No problems found so far with Alaska 737 fleet

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2007 at 2:44 pm |
August 31, 2007 2:44 pm

As of this afternoon Alaska Airlines has found no missing washers or loose bolts on the slats of its fleet of 56 new generation Boeing 737s.

Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Amanda Tobin Bielawski said the airline has inspected 36 of its 56-plane fleet of 737s and found nothing amiss.

The Federal Aviation Administration this week ordered airlines operating Next Generation Boeing 737s to visually inspect the bolts holding on the planes’ leading edge slats. Those slats are part of the wing that can be extended downward from the front of the wing to change the wing’s shape for landing or takeoff.

That inspection order was prompted by the loss of a China Airlines 737 shortly after it landed in Okinawa last week. That plane burst into flames after a loose bolt penetrated a fuel tank. All passengers and crew members escaped.

Alaska expects to finish the inspection of its 737s well before the Sept. 7 deadline.

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