Alaska Airlines Knew About Wing Thingie, Totally Did Not Expect Depressurization Whozit
On July 28, an Alaska Airlines passenger (not William Shatner) looked out the window and saw something on the wing. It wasn’t a gremlin, but a note written on the wing, with an arrow pointing to a half-moon divot that said: “We know about this.” Alaska Airlines now says that the note referred to a repair that had already been made, rather than, as the passenger suspected, a note that they were going back up with a known problem.
Alaska’s reassurances would be more effective if they weren’t being made the same morning as another Alaska plane, a Boeing 737, was diverted to San Jose for an emergency landing after the cabin depressurized. Flight 539 will stay in San Jose for inspection, which seems like a good idea, since the plane also experienced electrical and flight control problems.
Back in 2006, Alaska had five depressurizations in ten days, which sounded like a record of some kind, though Alaska Airlines Chairman Bill Ayer wanted you to know it was all a big “coincidence.” For balance, it may help to know that “Alaska Airlines has received the Federal Aviation Administration’s Diamond Award for maintenance training excellence for 10 consecutive years,” according to Alaska’s site.