Amid accusations that a fixation on “diversity” has resulted in a decline in safety standards, investigators working to determine what caused a Boeing 737 aircraft operated by Southwest Airlines to experience a “Dutch roll” midflight on May 25 are looking into the possibility that storm damage may have been a contributing factor.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the “Dutch roll” occurred during a flight from Phoenix to Oakland. Pilots encountered unexpected rudder pedal movements, causing the plane’s tail to swing sideways and the wings to rock back and forth. Modern planes are equipped with systems like the “yaw damper” to counteract such oscillations, but in this instance, the feature did not appear to be working at the time of the incident.

After the plane landed safely at the Oakland airport, Southwest Airlines mechanics conducted extensive inspections, which revealed significant damage to the metal bracket and ribs supporting a backup power control unit in the plane’s tail section. It is unknown whether the damage occurred during the flight or if the damage was already present before the flight departed.

A recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicated that the same aircraft had been parked outside during a severe storm at the New Orleans airport on May 16, days prior to the incident. The storm unleashed strong winds gusting up to 84 mph as well as heavy rain on the aircraft, prompting further scrutiny into whether the storm conditions might have compromised the aircraft’s structural integrity.

Meanwhile, the Boeing 737 Max 8 involved in the incident has since undergone repairs and resumed normal flight operations, according to NBC DFW.

Boeing has received criticism from consumers and aviation experts alike after recent mid-flight mishaps and safety failures.

Some critics have alleged that safety standards have been neglected as the company prioritizes other initiatives, such as “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

A former Boeing employee posted on social media that he resigned due to the company’s focus on DEI rather than safety and quality.

Elon Musk asked on social media, “Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety? That is actually happening.”

A scathing report by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released in 2020 cited a litany of failures and insufficient oversight in the construction of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft that were involved in two plane crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

As detailed in a previous report by The Dallas Express, Boeing reached an agreement earlier this week to admit guilt to a criminal fraud conspiracy charge linked to the two deadly crashes.

As part of the U.S. Justice Department’s plea deal offer, Boeing will pay a fine of $243.6 million, according to a court filing reported by Reuters on Sunday.