Pilot Finds Hole In Plane's Fuselage - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pilot Finds Hole In Plane's Fuselage

(CNN) -- A US Airways 737 pilot in Charlotte, North Carolina, discovered a small hole in the exterior of his plane's fuselage Monday, prompting the airline to take the plane out of service and for the FBI to begin an investigation.

"During a pre-flight inspection, one of our captains noticed a small hole in the fuselage," said US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder.

"Safety is paramount, so we took that aircraft out of service and our maintenance team is investigating," she said.

Wunder said that she had not seen the aircraft and could not characterize the size or shape of the hole, but said it was towards the rear of the aircraft.

Amy Thorseson, spokeswoman for the FBI in Charlotte, confirmed that the federal agency had an evidence team at the scene, but it was not immediately known what caused the hole in the plane.

The plane -- a 737-400 designated as flight 1161 from Philadelphia -- landed without incident at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport at about 4 p.m.

The plane holds 144 passengers, according to the US Airways website.

It was not immediately known how many people were aboard the aircraft, but all of the passengers were accommodated on other flights, according to a US Airways spokeswoman.

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