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Project on Government Oversight

Podcast: Crash Course?

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May 9, 2011

Podcast: Crash Course?

On April 1, a five-foot piece of the fuselage of a Southwest Airlines 737 Classic airplane ripped off in mid-flight, forcing the plane to an emergency landing in Arizona. Despite the date of the incident, this was no joke.

In late April, the nation’s crash detectives, the National Transportation Safety Board, said they found evidence of manufacturing defects. Experts told The New York Times that the board’s findings suggest the 737’s "aluminum skin had not been properly bound together, leading to premature damage from fatigue."

This week's podcast is a phone conversation between POGO staffers and a former Boeing employee and her attorney, who claim that Boeing bent the rules and allowed very similar manufacturing defects on a newer version of the 737, the 737 Next Generation. In 2005, they filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Boeing defrauded the military by supplying defective planes. They claim that Boeing has also put the flying public at risk.

Running time: 28:10

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