FAA Grounds Boeing 737 Max 9 after Alaska Airline Incident
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has temporarily grounded some Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes used by U.S. airlines following an incident where part of a wall detached from an Alaska Airlines flight mid-air. The airline grounded all 65 of its 737 Max 9 aircraft for maintenance and safety inspections. No injuries were reported among the 174 passengers and six crew members on board, and the FAA and Alaska Airlines have launched investigations into the incident.
FAA Grounds Some Boeing 737 Max 9 Planes After Alaska Airlines Incident
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Saturday that it is grounding certain Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft operated by U.S. airlines. This decision follows an incident where a panel of a wall detached from an Alaska Airlines flight while in midair. Immediate inspections of the affected planes are required before they can resume flight, according to FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.
Alaska Airlines confirmed that it has inspected over a quarter of its 737 Max 9 fleet as of Saturday. Flight 1282, which was heading for Southern California, safely landed at Portland International Airport after the crew reported a pressurization issue. No injuries were reported among the 174 passengers and six crew members on board.
Despite the incident, Alaska Airlines remains confident in the safety of its fleet. The airline temporarily grounded all 65 of its 737 Max 9 aircraft for safety inspections and maintenance. It reported that a quarter of the inspections have been completed with no concerning findings, and the planes will return to service once inspections are completed.
Passenger Kyle Rinker posted a photo on social media showing an entire panel missing from a side of the fuselage, next to a row of seats. The incident reportedly happened about 20 minutes after departing from Portland’s airport.
“The safety of our guests and employees is always our primary priority,” Alaska said in a statement, emphasizing the rarity of such occurrences and the preparedness of their crew to handle the situation. The flight was bound for Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County, California. The aircraft involved was identified as a Boeing 737 MAX 9.
Boeing has acknowledged the incident, stating they are gathering more information and are in contact with their airline customer. A Boeing technical team is ready to support the investigation. Similarly, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said he has been briefed on the incident and is in close contact with FAA regarding the response.
The incident is currently being investigated by the FAA, Alaska Airlines, and the National Transportation Safety Board, which has launched a Go Team to Portland for the investigation.
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