Maintenance review finds previously repaired cracks in Southwest plane

PHOENIX (AP) - An Associated Press review of government records shows cracks were found and repaired a year ago on a Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing after a fuselage rupture.

The review of Federal Aviation Administration records of maintenance problems for the 15-year-old plane showed at least eight instances of cracking found in March 2010. The records showed that the cracks in the aircraft frame, which is part of the fuselage, were repaired.

It's not uncommon for fuselage cracks to be found during inspections of planes that age, especially during scheduled heavy maintenance checks.

The FAA is investigating the rupture which forced the plan to descend rapidly and land in Yuma. A piece of the fuselage will be examined, along with flight recorders.

No one was seriously injured.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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