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Southwest Airlines suddenly grounds scores of planes due to aircraft weight issues

Southwest Airlines abruptly grounded 66 Boeing 737 aircraft in its fleet last Wednesday after issues with the carrier’s aircraft weight records were discovered. In an internal memo to employees on the matter that was obtained by the Chicago Business Journal, Southwest said: “Today (Wednesday) we discovered the weights being sent to our Dispatch Operation did not match our other weight records for a number of aircraft in the fleet. As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have stopped… ( More...

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jbermo 16
Very transparent by WN, as it should be.
Kris Durbin 16
That's exactly what this is here. Deviation could not be much and could be easily worked around by substituting the maximum possible dry weight for these a/c. Also, a very well-written article by a reporter who clearly knows a thing or two about the aviation industry (or at least sticks to the facts and avoids sensationalism).
No pun intended here, but the BOTTOM line is that average FAA weights are woefully UNDER the real weight of most people who board an aircraft. Perhaps the FAA could update the "average" weight to reflect more accurately the current state of fast food fed Americans. LOL.
sparkie624 0
LOL... I think you are exactly Correct!
Ryan Pickett 4
I'm glad SWA had the temerity to come out and admit there was a problem with weight on their aircraft. Now if we could just get their pilots to stop going V1 down the taxiways, that would be impressive.
Ant Miraa 1
sparkie624 -8
LOL... they were probably has someone getting ready to blow the whistle on it... If they did not think they would get caught, they would not have said or done a thing... Keep in mind this is the company that was paying the Feds and got busted for it.

[This poster has been suspended.]

sparkie624 1
All Airliners have to be weighed Empty every 2 years under Federal Regulations, so they are actually pretty accurate... The Weight of the water in the Potable Water system as well as the Lav Blue Juice is all accounted for... What is off is the Passenger weights mostly due to the fact they use average weights and so many are WELL OVER that weight... Bags are sort of weighed so they have an average on that as well. Overall it is closer than you would actually think. I would say within 1 %. Keep in mind that a 737-800 approximate empty weight is over 90,000 lbs.
garritt 2
I prefer my airline to use "ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION" when deciding to fly.
.....I want all decisions to be made on the side of SAFETY" .....g~
I doubt this is a problem for just Southwest Airlines, I suspect all domestic carriers are going to have to update how they calculate weights, particularly with passenger and carry-on and luggage weights. At some point, carriers may be forced to install weight scales and charging passengers by the pound for more than just their luggage?
sparkie624 -2
I am not going to say that it is only SWA issue, but I would say that it would not be a lot of carriers with that problem... I know that the company that I work for even being a regional, that we watch that very close and always make sure that info is accurate...
Leon Kay 1
They should have realized by now to add at least 10% mass for the average American. :-)
During a visit to the USA my wife and I took a flight from Fort Lauderdale on Silver Airways. Before take off the air hostess first walked up and down the aisle and re-arranged the passengers to obtain a more even weight distribution. On a flight from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon on a Cessna 208 Caravan each passenger was first weighed for the same reason.
erisajd 1
put them on a scale. get a new starting weight - and move on. Nothing nefarious here. No gear collapses, so everything was close enough.
darjr26 1
I’ve read this twice and still don’t understand what the issue was. Maybe SWA wants it that way.
Robert Hunt are you the person that I shared pilot duties in a Commander into Belize international and thought our world had ended when we broke out of the overcast to be looking at a Anti-aircraft gun installation? If so, hello old buddy. Would love to talk to you again. Dwayne Hunt
ken young 1
Exercising caution in lieu of profits...I like it.
patrick baker 1
with the fudge factor built into engine performance coupled with the lift capacity of the airframe titled far toward the side of safety, where is the beef here?
Chris B 1
Willing to bet that SWA isn't the online airline with documentation issues. Its just the only one to fess up to it in light of the terrible misfortune to the family on board 1380.

The bright light transfarency needs to be shone on all airlines to prove that maintenance records accurately reflect the actual state of each aircraft.
sparkie624 -8
No Surprise Here!
Ah Yes,Sounds like the records were not done correctly and without any followup by any supervisors.Of course there wont be any of the supervisors punished because thats not an airlines does (admitting that you hired a dunce) and they will be either promoted or find them in another position.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

John D 17
Nonsense. Playing by the rules. If they had acted as you allege, they would have covered it up and only responded if confronted.
linbb 2
But then he couldn't post his stupid comment supprised he didn't blame Trump too.
btweston 2
I blame your English teacher.
Robert Hunt 1
That is one the Donald missed.
dc3orbust -5
Or blame Bush and / or Reagan


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