Southwest grounds 2 planes after finding cracks in key part

Local News

FILE – In this Wednesday, March 13, 2019, file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet flies over Mesa, Ariz., en route to Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. Pilot-union leaders at Southwest Airlines say it could be February or March 2020 before their airline resumes flights using the Boeing 737 Max. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

DALLAS (AP) – Southwest Airlines is grounding two Boeing jets after finding cracks in parts that connect wings to the fuselage.

A Southwest spokesman said Wednesday that the airline reported its findings to Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration, which didn’t immediately comment.

The FAA ordered airlines to inspect Boeing 737s, starting with jets that have made at least 30,000 flights, after cracks were found in planes undergoing work in China.

Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish says crews found signs of cracking on two planes, and they will remain out of service until all issues are resolved.

The cracks are in a part called a pickle fork because of prongs that extend under the wings. Southwest has more than 700 planes, all Boeing 737s.

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