DALLAS – Federal safety officials said Monday they are ordering additional inspections of some Boeing 737 jets after a hole tore open in a Southwest Airlines plane during flight in 2009.
The Federal Aviation Administration said that it will seek more detailed inspections for cracks along the tops of the planes.
The FAA estimated that the cost of inspecting 109 older Boeing 737s will be about $5.2 million. The agency said it has no idea how many planes will need repairs.
The order will cover 737-300, -400 and -500 models of the popular passenger aircraft. Southwest’s entire fleet is Boeing 737s, although many are newer -700 and -800 models.
The FAA said it would publish an order covering the inspections in Wednesday’s Federal Register.
China doesn’t renew visa of Times reporter
A New York Times correspondent who has worked in China for more than a decade was forced to leave the mainland on Monday because his visa wasn’t renewed, the newspaper said.
Chris Buckley, a 45-year-old Australian, flew to Hong Kong with his family amid increased pressures on foreign journalists by the Chinese government, which is concerned over media scrutiny of its top leaders.
Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said the newspaper was hopeful that the Chinese government would renew Buckley’s journalist visa soon so he and his family can return.
“I regret that Chris Buckley has been forced to relocate outside of China despite our repeated requests to renew his journalist visa,” she said.
She said she also hoped the Chinese would issue journalism credentials to Philip Pan, who is designated to serve as the newspaper’s bureau chief in Beijing.
The Times said six other correspondents in China had their visas for 2013 renewed in a timely manner, including David Barboza, who wrote articles about the finances of the family of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. The newspaper said the day it published the results of a long investigation, it found its English-language website and its new Chinese-language site were blocked within China, and they remain so.
Similar actions have been taken against Bloomberg News after it published a detailed report on the wealth of China’s new top leader, Xi Jinping, the Times said.
Live Nation chairman stepping down
LOS ANGELES – Irving Azoff, the longtime manager of the Eagles band, is resigning as chairman of concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and selling off 1.7 million shares to Liberty Media Corp.
Azoff, 65, will continue to manage some of the acts that he brought to the company, including the Eagles and Christina Aguilera, but he will no longer be the CEO of Front Line, the artist management company he sold to Ticketmaster in 2008.