The plane that crashed in Madrid today, taking nearly 150 souls, is part of an MD-80 series that's had some mechanical concerns. Back in the spring, American Airlines cancelled thousands of flights to check electrical wiring after an FAA safety audit. Then just last month, the FAA ordered more inspections of the wings for cracks.
Since coming into service in the 1980s, the MD-80 series has been involved in more than 10 serious crashes, including an Alaska Airlines crash that killed 88 people. Still, compared with the millions of times the planes have flown, air experts consider it one of the safest in the sky.
But reports from El Pais, a Spanish newspaper, say the plane was delayed nearly an hour because of technical problems. When it did finally get on the runway, the plane barely got airborne before veering off and breaking into pieces. We'll have to wait to see what the investigation turns up, but something obviously went wrong. So very wrong.