Jetliner Fuselage Fails; Could There Be Connection With Mechanics Who Can’t Read Or Speak English?

I’m sure everyone is aware of this story:

Passengers Pray As Jetliner Pops A Hole
Shawn Nottingham and Stephanie Gallman
July 14, 2009

From which we read:

Southwest Flight 2294 made an emergency stop in Charleston, West Virginia, on Monday after a football-sized hole in its fuselage caused the cabin to depressurize, an airline spokeswoman said.

There were no injuries aboard the Boeing 737, which was traveling at about 34,000 feet when the problem occurred, Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis told CNN.

“About 45 minutes into the flight, there was a loud pop. No one really knew what it was,” passenger Steve Hall told CNN Radio.

Well, I can’t say what caused this accident, but I do remember posting the following blog entry back in May:

Airlines Are Hiring Mechanics Who Can’t Speak English Or Even Read The Maintenance Manuals
May 20, 2009

From which we learned:

Aircraft repair requires even experienced mechanics to frequently consult manuals that are written in English and leave a detailed record of what repairs they have made, according to WFAA-TV.

Still, hundreds of mechanics working in the more than 236 FAA-certified aircraft repair stations in Texas were not familiar enough with the English language to even read the manuals that coincide with the kinds of planes they were expected to fix, WFAA reported.

“There are people [where I work] who do not know how to read maintenance manuals as they are spelled out, because they don’t have a clue,” one Texas aircraft mechanic told the station.

But hiring a certified mechanic in Texas costs upwards of $25 an hour, compared to the less than $10 technicians who can’t speak English will do the work for.

Is the fact that airlines have been hiring illegals who cannot read or speak English to do aircraft maintenance related to the Southwest Airlines accident? I don’t know. Can we dismiss the possibility that they may be related? Absolutely not.

What is it going to take, people?

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