South African Airline Grounded
Nationwide Airlines, which hit the headlines three weeks ago when an engine on one of its aging Boeing 737-200s sheared from the wing on takeoff, has been grounded by South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority on the suspicion that it's using unapproved parts. The CAA says it found some bolts that don't have the correct paper trail and it was investigating the pirate parts possibility when the 737 lost the engine Nov. 7. The flying pilot, Trevor Arnold, is up for an award from the South Africa Airline Pilots Association, for his actions during the emergency.
The grounding of the budget airline stranded 6,000 passengers, and their problems may not be over. The International Air Transport Authority has suspended Nationwide from its interchangeable ticket arrangement, which means that other airlines won't accept their tickets for replacement flights. Nationwide's managers are reportedly in closed-door meetings with CAA officials trying to sort out all the issues.