Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

FAA orders more inspections of 109 Boeing 737s

DALLAS — Federal safety officials have ordered additional inspections of some Boeing 737 jets after a hole tore open in a Southwest Airlines plane during flight in 2009.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that it will seek more detailed inspections for cracks along the tops of the planes.

The FAA estimated that the cost of inspecting 109 older Boeing 737s will be about $5.2 million. The agency said it has no idea how many planes will need repairs.

The order will cover 737-300, -400 and -500 models of the popular passenger aircraft. Southwest's entire fleet is Boeing 737s, although many are newer -700 and -800 models. The agency said repairs could cost up to $17,765 per plane, or $1.94 million for all 109 U.S.-registered planes covered by the order.

The FAA said it would publish an order covering the inspections in today's Federal Register.

The FAA issued rules in 2005 to detect metal fatigue caused by pressurizing the cabin during every flight — hundreds of times per year.

In a statement Monday, the agency said those rules would be expanded to include new inspection methods with scanning technology, checks of more areas of the plane, the installation of additional reinforcements and checks for loose fasteners.

Brandy King, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines, said the airline was prepared to comply with the FAA and does not expect any impact on Southwest flight schedules while the inspections are done.

"We remain completely confident in the airworthiness of our fleet," she said.

The new FAA requirements stem from a 2009 incident in which a Southwest flight from Nashville to Baltimore had to make an emergency landing in Charleston, W.Va., after a hole more than a foot long appeared in the roof near the tail. Boeing issued a special service bulletin to airlines operating the planes in 2010.

In 2011, another Southwest jet was forced to land in Yuma, Ariz., but authorities believe that incident involved cracking in a different type of joint where panels of aluminum skin overlap.

Comments
Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Associated PressNEW YORK — Swiss food and drink giant Nestle is selling its U.S. candy business to Italy’s Ferrero for about $2.9 billion in cash. Ferrero will take over iconic chocolate brands Butterfinger and Crunch bars, as well as the sugary Nerd...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

Separate accreditation has long been a point of pride and a stamp of independence for the St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee branches of the University of South Florida.Graduates of those schools frame diplomas bearing the name of their own universi...
Updated: 26 minutes ago

St. Pete officer suspended for month after pushing concert guard

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer was suspended for a month after he pushed a security guard at a summer concert in Tampa, according to St. Petersburg police.It could have been worse: Chief Tony Holloway determined Officer Curtis Wright could have be...
Updated: 1 hour ago
School board member is ‘dumbfounded’ by Times report on Hillsborough substitute teachers

School board member is ‘dumbfounded’ by Times report on Hillsborough substitute teachers

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District should reconsider how it hires substitute teachers, and that conversation should happen publicly, School Board member Lynn Gray said Tuesday.Responding to a Tampa Bay Times article published Sunday , G...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Video captures basketball game between kids, St. Petersburg officers

ST. PETERSBURG — Teamwork wins games, they say. And basketball can bridge gaps.That’s what makes the Facebook video of three St. Petersburg police officers playing a game of pickup in the street against three kids so compelling. The officers, who wer...
Updated: 1 hour ago
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

TAMPA — A judge has declined to grant immunity to Reginald Bowman, the man who admitted last month that he fatally shot 18-year-old Lyfe Coleman and invoked the state’s "stand your ground" law to argue it was self-defense.At a brief hearing Tuesday, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

ST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown. The new projects, all by out-of-state developers and more moderately priced than those downtown, will...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

TAMPA — Hillsborough County officials fired a Fire Rescue medic Tuesday after an internal investigation concluded he had "unwavering loyalty" to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club — the state’s dominant biker gang. Clinton Neal Walker, 33, of Bradenton, is ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

When it comes to regulating insurance, Florida is slowly improving. The Sunshine State raised its grade from a C in 2016 to a B in 2017 on the "R Street 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card." It ranked No. 15 among all states.The annual report, writ...
Updated: 2 hours ago