Problems with inspections on Southwest Airlines planes have been uncovered by the Federal Aviation Administration. According to a report on CNN.com, the issues with the inspection program were kept secret.
The article said that the airline tried to remove one person who discovered the problem from the from the inspections. "My supervisor called me into his office ... and told me he had had a meeting with the director of quality assurance and the AD [airworthiness directive] compliance leader from Southwest Airlines, and he had requested my removal from the inspection," Bobby Boutris said in the article.
Boutris and Douglas Peters presented information about Southwest's, "lack of compliance with mandatory inspection protocols," the article said.
The article said that some planes were as much as 30 months past a mandatory rudder inspection, and that dangerous cracks were found on six planes.
CNN said that they could not reach the FAA for comment.
According to the article, Boutris and Peters are set to testify to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee along with FAA representatives.
According to another article in the New York Times, "The inspectors said that their F.A.A. supervisors knew of the problems but had discouraged them from pursuing the safety problems or addressing problems within the agency, even threatening to relieve them of their duties."
""It is sad that an FAA inspector has to become a whistle blower in order to do his job," Boutris said in the CNN article. "And the job is -- that we were hired by the taxpayers -- to ensure the airlines provide safe transportation for the flying public. It shouldn't have to come to this."