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Door Plug From Alaska Airlines Plane May Have Blown Off Mid-Air Due To Employee Error At Boeing Factory * * by Danielle

NEWS HEADLINES: Door Plug From Alaska Airlines Plane May Have Blown Off Mid-Air Due To Employee Error At Boeing Factory * * by Danielle

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According to a Wall Street Journal report, Boeing and airline industry officials theorize the door plug from the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 blew off mid-air because of missing bolts.

Although not officially confirmed, Boeing increasingly believes employees failed to put back the bolts when reinstalling the door plug during production.

People familiar with the matter reportedly say the absence of markings on the door plug suggests this scenario.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, traveling from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, made an emergency landing at Portland International Airport after the door plug blew out mid-air.

Alaska Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Section Of Plane Blows Out Mid-Air

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The increasingly likely scenario, according to some of these people, is based partly on an apparent absence of markings on the Alaska door plug itself that would suggest bolts were in place when it blew off the jet around 16,000 feet over Oregon on Jan. 5.

They also pointed to paperwork and process lapses at Boeing’s Renton, Wash., factory related to the company’s work on the plug door.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been conducting metallurgical analysis of the plug door but hasn’t released the results of the testing. Laboratory tests might show whether the bolts were in place or not there at all. An update in the NTSB probe is expected as soon as this week.

New evidence could later emerge before accident investigators reach final conclusions. It couldn’t be determined how many people were involved with work on the plug door at Boeing’s 737 factory.

Supplier Spirit AeroSystems delivered the 737 fuselage to Boeing’s factory with the door plug installed. The plug door itself was constructed in Spirit’s Malaysian factory, while the fuselage was assembled in Wichita, Kan.

Boeing opened or removed the door plug after the 737 MAX 9 jet’s fuselage arrived at the plane maker’s Renton, Wash., factory for final assembly, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets have reported.

Other 737 MAX 9s could have the same problem if the theory pans out.

Alaska Airlines and United Airlines found loose bolts on some of their Boeing 737-9 MAXs while inspecting the planes.

Alaska Airlines And United Airlines Find Loose Bolts On Boeing 737-9 MAXs

Per Fox Business:

The FAA said last week that it will not grant Boeing any production expansion of the MAX, including the 737-9 MAX. The agency also approved a thorough inspection and maintenance process that must be performed on each of the grounded 171 MAX 9 jets before being eligible to return to service.

Alaska Airlines resumed service of its 737 MAX 9 fleet on Friday with a flight from Seattle to San Diego after completing the final inspections on its first group of 737 Max 9 aircraft. Inspections on its remaining aircraft are expected to be completed by the end of this week.

The FAA is still investigating Boeing as well as its manufacturing practices and production lines, including those involving subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems, which makes fuselages for Boeing.

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