Russian carriers inspect older 737s for skin damage

Moscow
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Eight Russian carriers have begun inspecting their fleets of older Boeing 737 aircraft for skin fatigue in compliance with directives issued by US FAA and Boeing following the decompression incident on a Southwest Airlines 737-300.

The country's civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia says the action involves Kuban Airlines, Donavia, Nordavia, Orenair, Tatarstan, Yamal, Transaero and UTAir.

These carriers operate 45 Boeing 737 Classics, which have serial numbers between 2553 and 3132, a range Boeing identifies as having the same characteristics as the damaged Southwest aircraft.

Rosaviatsia indicates that three aircraft with over 30,000 cycles will be examined over the next 20 days as recommended by the FAA airworthiness directive.

None of the 45 older 737s in service with Russian airlines has accumulated more than 35,000 cycles, which would have called for carrying out inspections within five days.