Panel blowout has airlines and regulators inspecting Boeing 737 Max 9s

  • Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 was forced to make an emergency landing after a panel on the Boeing 737 Max 9 blew off the aircraft mid-flight.
  • While some of the passengers experienced injuries, all 174 passengers and six crew made it back to the ground safely.
  • The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is investigating the incident and several other airlines have grounded similar aircraft from Boeing.

This weekend was rough for Boeing after one of its aircraft experienced a troubling problem mid-flight.

On Friday, while flying to Ontario, California from Portland, Oregon, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 was forced to make an emergency landing after a panel on the Boeing 737 Max 9 blew off the aircraft mid-flight. Pilots were then forced to make an emergency landing in Portland following the sudden loss of cabin pressure.

Thankfully, all 174 passengers and six crew members survived the incident but the airline said several passengers experienced injuries. There was reportedly nobody seated where the panel blew out. All passengers who experienced said injuries were medically cleared throughout the weekend.


A passenger on Alaska Airlines flight 1282, which had to make an emergency landing Friday night after a portion of the aircraft blew out mid-air, recounts the experience. #news #aviation #alaskaairlines #boeing

♬ original sound – cbsnews

On the back of this frankly bizarre occurrence, Alaska Airlines canceled 170 flights scheduled for Sunday affecting roughly 25 000 guests.

“The 737-9 MAX grounding has significantly impacted our operation. We have cancelled 170 Sunday flights and 60 cancellations for Monday, with more expected. Cancellations will continue through the first half of the week, and we encourage guests with travel plans to continue to check their email and for updates,” Alaska Airlines told travelers.


Girls’ trip turned into emergency landing trip… #alaska #alaskaair

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While it’s good that nobody got hurt, both the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and Boeing itself are conducting investigations into the incident.

“Safety is our top priority and we deeply regret the impact this event has had on our customers and their passengers. We agree with and fully support the FAA’s decision to require immediate inspections of 737-9 airplanes with the same configuration as the affected airplane. In addition, a Boeing technical team is supporting the NTSB’s [National Transportation Safety Board] investigation into last night’s event. We will remain in close contact with our regulator and customers,” Boeing said in a statement following the incident.

While the reason for the blowout is unknown at this point, Al Jazeera reports that the aircraft was in service for just eight weeks. Following this incident, the FAA has said that all Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft operated by US airlines or flown in the US by other operators, need to be grounded until they are fully inspected. This order affects roughly 171 aircraft around the world.

Carriers Turkish Airlines, Copa Airlines, and many others have grounded similar aircraft or adopted the FAA’s directive as a precautionary measure until Boeing’s investigation has run its course.

Passengers on the Alaska Airlines flight were likely shaken by the incident, it’s incredibly lucky that nobody was seriously injured. Boeing has a bit of a history when it comes to malfunctioning aircraft. In 2018 189 people lost their lives when a Boeing 737 Max jet crashed, then 157 more people died in Ethiopia a few months later.

In 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that Boeing had to pay out $200 million after it found the aircraft maker guilty on charges of misleading investors and ultimately the public as regards the safety of it’s aircraft.

We suspect that given Boeing’s history, regulators will be picking the 737 Max 9 apart to ensure that those flying on it are safe.

Not a good start to 2024 for Boeing then.


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