Southwest 737 Loses Fuselage Roof Skin, Airline Ground 81 Planes After Emergency

Southwest Airlines is taking 81 Boeing 737s out of service for inspections over the next several days, after one of its planes lost a section of fuselage in flight.

At least two people passed out after the roof fuselage skin was breached and an open hole in the roof caused rapid depressurization of the cabin of a Southwest Airline Boeing 737-300 on April 1, 2011.

No serious injuries were reported among the 118 people aboard, but a flight attendant was slightly hurt.

The National Transportation Safety Board called the incident an “in-flight fuselage rupture.”

Flight 812, originally scheduled on a multi-stop flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Sacramento International Airport, made an emergency at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station in Arizona.

In July 2009 when a football-sized hole opened up in flight in the fuselage of another Southwest 737, depressurizing the cabin. The plane made an emergency landing in Charleston, W.Va.

In 1988, a major part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 (Flight 243) peeled open during flight from Hilo to Honolulu. A flight attendant was sucked out of the cabin to the atmosphere and fell to her death. Dozens of passengers were injured. 01-APR-2011 FLIGHT 812 …