Flight Mechanics: The Business of Airline Repairs Recent maintenance mistakes raise questions about a growing practice at U.S. airlines: Since an economic crisis began shaking the industry in 2002, most major airlines have stopped repairing and overhauling most of their own planes. Instead, they are sending the planes to be fixed for less money by private repair companies — often in developing countries.

Aviation maintenance technicians Gina Teague (left) and Prasad Itty (right) work on the interior of an MD-80 jet at American Airlines' Tulsa overhaul base. Courtesy of Mike McNally/American Airlines - Tulsa hide caption

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Courtesy of Mike McNally/American Airlines - Tulsa

Bucking Trend, Airline Keeps Repairs In-House

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Crossed Wires: Flaws In Airline Repairs Abroad

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US Airways planes prepare to taxi for takeoff at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix in 2007. US Airways is one of many airlines that have farmed out some maintenance to repair shops in developing countries. Ross D. Franklin/AP hide caption

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Ross D. Franklin/AP

To Cut Costs, Airlines Send Repairs Abroad

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