- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Federal Aviation Administration had warned weeks before the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that Boeing 777s — the model of the missing Malaysia craft — were suffering from serious cracking and corrosion issues.

Specifically, the FAA ordered that hundreds of 777s registered in the United States undergo extra scrutiny to check the fuselage skin beneath the satellite antenna for cracks, NBC News reported.

The checks were necessary to “detect and correct cracking and corrosion in the fuselage skin, which could lead to rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane,” the FAA directive stated, NBC reported. That directive was first composed in September and ultimately approved in February to go into effect on April 9, NBC said.

Included in the directive was a pilot finding of a “16-inch crack” in the skin of the fuselage on a 14-year-old craft. The Malaysia plane that’s gone missing was 12 years old, NBC reported.

That’s not to conclude that the Malaysia flight was downed due to cracks in the fuselage. Airline officials said they’d already started conducting the extra maintenance check as part of their regular routine, and that the craft that’s missing was last serviced on Feb. 23, NBC reported.

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