The issue stems with an error in safety checking a section of the aircraft fuselage; several of the redundant checks missed a section of the skin, thus creating the potential for one to miss finding a crack. Mind you, there were no faults in the aircraft skin found and all aircraft are still safe. Don’t put your tickets on Ebay yet.
That error in and of itself is a pretty big deal, but its mendable. Where the crap really hits the fan is where we find that several (select) FAA and Southwest officials knew about the oversight and didn’t do anything about it. Before it was a mistake — now its criminal.
Congress, in their overreacting state of things is calling a hearing to get to the bottom of the issue. One Mr. James Oberstar went so far as to call it “one of the worst safety violations” that he has ever seen. I’d personally like to find out what those (select) schemers over at WN and the FAA were up to when they didn’t mention the error.