Five months before the roof of an Aloha Airlines jet peeled off in flight, Boeing warned the airline its jets had significant corrosion problems and needed major structural inspections, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
The newspaper also reported that the Boeing Co. told the airline it needed a new maintenance program for its 10 jets.Citing Boeing documents obtained by the paper, the Post reported that Boeing urged Aloha to replace corroded skin panels on its four most heavily flown jets, including the 737 involved in the accident, and take them out of service during the spring for permanent repairs, inspections and completion of deferred maintenance.
"Aloha has a high-frequency flight schedule and operates in a highly corrosive environment," the manufacturer told the airline in a 150-page document and letter to Aloha Nov. 13.
"These factors certainly contribute to the corrosion and fatigue damage observed on the two airplanes surveyed," the Post quoted the documents as saying. "This as well as the practice of repainting the airplane before and during inspections, deferring repairs and-or making temporary instead of (ermanent) repairs, contributes to our mutual concerns."
The recommendations, the newspaper said in a dispatch from Seattle, headquarters for Boeing, were made after a team of Boeing engineers visited Aloha last fall.