The FAA has issued nearly 100 directives tied to widespread metal fatigue since 1988, and in the wake of the 737 Southwest Airlines incident, the FAA is reviewing those policies. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and Boeing officials cautioned that it was too early to conclude that the latest incident directly stemmed from metal fatigue. The damaged Southwest roof, which caused an emergency landing, has baffled safety experts because the 15-year-old jet had logged only about 40,000 takeoffs and landings.

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