PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The FAA today will issue an emergency safety order aimed at finding issues similar to what plagued that Southwest flight last week (see related story).  But only 80 planes in the US will be put under this new inspection microscope and a Philadelphia aviation attorney says that’s not enough to keep travelers safe.

Bend a paper clip back and forth and eventually you’re left with a couple useless pieces of metal.

Lawyer and jet pilot Arthur Wolk related that problem to pressurizing the cabin air on passenger jets: the cycle of “inflation” and “deflation” makes it comfortable for us to fly, but over time it puts strain on the plane’s frame.

“The more cycles you put on these planes — because they do typically short hauls — the more chance the plane is going to get what’s called a fatigue failure,” Wolk said.

He said it’s of particular concern on an older jet used in frequent flights.  But Wolk wants to see more comprehensive tests, more often, on more planes. “No matter whether it’s a 737 or a 767, airplanes need to be carefully inspected because they operate in a harsh environment.”

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060

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