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Last updated: 19 October 2021
Date:Monday 13 July 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic B733 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-3H4
Operator:Southwest Airlines
Registration: N387SW
MSN: 26602/2627
First flight: 1994-06-16 (15 years 1 months)
Total airframe hrs:50500
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-3B1
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 126
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 131
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:near Charleston, WV (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Nashville International Airport, TN (BNA/KBNA), United States of America
Destination airport:Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, MD (BWI/KBWI), United States of America
Southwest flight 2294, a Boeing 737-300 experienced rapid decompression while en route from Nashville Metropolitan Airport, TN (BNA) to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). The crew declared an emergency and landed at Charleston-Yeager Airport, WV (CRW). On examination, a hole measuring approximately 17 inches by 8 inches (43 x 20 cm) was discovered in the top of the fuselage. There were no injuries reported.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Fuselage skin failure due to preexisting fatigue at a chemically milled step."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 1 months
Accident number: DCA09FA065
Download report: Summary report

Forced landing on runway

» Soutwest Airlines

Follow-up / safety actions
Following the Southwest Airlines (SWA) flight 2294 event, on September 3, 2009, Boeing issued Service Bulletin (SB) 737-53A1301, calling for repetitive external inspections to detect cracks in the fuselage skin along the chemically milled step at stringers S-1 and S-2 right and between BS 827 and BS 847. (The hole from the SWA event was within those boundaries.) If cracks are detected, operators are to contact Boeing for repair instructions.

FAA issued 1 Airworthiness Directive

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photo of Boeing-737-3H4-N387SW
accident date: 13-07-2009
type: Boeing 737-3H4
registration: N387SW
photo of Boeing-737-3H4-N387SW
accident date: 13-07-2009
type: Boeing 737-3H4
registration: N387SW

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Nashville International Airport, TN to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, MD as the crow flies is 937 km (586 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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