Boeing issues 737 Max 9 inspection instructions after Alaska incident

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The fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX, which was forced to make an emergency landing with a gap in the fuselage, is seen during its investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Portland, Oregon, U.S. January 7, 2024.

NTSB | Via Reuters

Boeing has given airlines instructions on how to inspect their 737 Max 9 jetliners, a step toward ending the grounding of the planes, according to an internal message from company executives.

The FAA ordered airlines to stop flying dozens of the jets over the weekend, less than a day after a door plug blew open during an Alaska Airlines flight as it was at 16,000 feet.

No one was seriously injured in the accident during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which was bound for Ontario, California, when the door plug blew, forcing it to return to Portland, Oregon, minutes into the flight.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the inspections would take.

“Our teams have been working diligently – with thorough FAA review – to provide comprehensive, technical instructions to operators for the required inspections. This morning, our team issued the instructions via a multi-operator message,” said Boeing’s commercial airplanes president and CEO, Stan Deal, and chief aerospace safety officer and senior vice president of global aerospace safety, Mike Delaney, in the internal message.

There are more than 200 737 Max 9 aircraft in fleets worldwide. United Airlines has a fleet of 79 737 Max 9s and Alaska Airlines has 65. The remainder are spread across other airlines.

The affected planes “will remain grounded until the FAA is satisfied that they are safe,” the FAA said on Sunday.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.


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