Southwest grounds 41 planes after safety flap

DALLAS (AP) - Southwest Airlines grounded 41 planes as the airline deals with fallout from using aircraft that had not gone through a required inspection for possible structural damage.

Spokeswoman Christi Day said the move resulted in some flights being canceled Wednesday, but she doesn't have a precise figure.

Southwest does not serve Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport. The closest airport with Southwest service is Nashville. It was unknown if any Nashville flights were effected.

The move comes as Southwest faces a $10.2 million civil penalty for continuing to fly nearly 50 planes after the airline admitted that it had missed required inspections of the planes for structural cracks.

Southwest also put three employees on leave after being notified of the penalty by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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