The NTSB has said its investigation of the fuselage skin rupture on a Southwest Airlines 737-300 on 1st April 2011 has found alignment issues with rivets and rivet holes in the area of the fracture. This could point to problems during the manufacturing process. The fuselage skin with the two foot hole and another section of skin located forward of the hole were removed from the 737-300 to NTSB’s Materials Laboratory in Washington. “Non-destructive eddy current inspections conducted around intact rivets on the removed skin section forward of the rupture revealed crack indications at nine rivet holes in the lower

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