Southwest Grounds 79 Airplanes for Inspection

April 3, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Southwest Airlines announced on Saturday that it is working with aviation authorities to determine the cause of a 'depressurization event' on a Friday flight. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Southwest Airlines announced on Saturday that it is working with aviation authorities to determine the cause of a 'depressurization event' on a Friday flight. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Southwest Airlines announced on Saturday that it is working with aviation authorities to determine the cause of a "depressurization event" on a Friday flight. Southwest is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to find out why the Phoenix-Sacramento flight lost air pressure in transit. The flight was diverted to Yuma, Ariz.

According to a statement from Southwest, they are working with engineers from the Boeing Company to "further assess the damage to the aircraft and develop an inspection regimen to look more closely at 79 of its Boeing 737 aircraft." The aircraft in question are covered by FAA rules specific to inspections for "aircraft skin fatigue."

About 300 flights will be canceled while the inspections are held in five locations over the next several days, according to the airline.

The NTSB reported that they have a team investigating what they called "an in-flight fuselage rupture" on the flight.

There were 118 passengers on the flight that was diverted on Friday. The airline said that initial reports found the aircraft lost pressure and oxygen masks came out just after takeoff. After the plane landed, the flight crew found a hole in the top of the aircraft. There were only two people with minor injuries.