Cabin part torn off in flight: US airline grounds Boeings

As a precautionary measure, it was decided to subject the 65 machines to thorough maintenance and safety checks, the company announced late on Friday (local time). Each aircraft will only be put back into operation after an inspection has been completed.

The incident occurred on the way from Portland, Oregon to Ontario Airport, east of Los Angeles. Shortly after takeoff, the plane with 171 passengers and six crew members returned to Portland and landed safely, said company boss Ben Minicucci in a statement. “My condolences go out to those who were on that flight – I’m so sorry for what you experienced.”

No reports of serious injuries

According to media reports, a part of the window suddenly came loose and flew away. There was a big bang and then air rushed in through the hole, passengers told The Oregonian newspaper. The seat directly next to it was unoccupied, but a teenager in the middle seat suffered redness and bruises from the sudden drop in pressure. There were therefore no reports of serious injuries.

Passenger videos published by the BBC showed the hole on the side of the plane. “It wasn’t even the emergency exit. It was just part of the plane,” a woman noted in the video.

Accident Investigation Board is investigating the incident

The incident is likely to alarm airlines and the manufacturer Boeing. The NTSB accident investigation agency is investigating the case. In contrast to the benign outcome on Friday, two emergencies in 2018 and 2019 ended catastrophically and led to the 737 Max series being grounded. There were a total of 346 deaths in the two crashes. The main cause is believed to be a faulty control program that caused the machines to crash to the ground.

Boeing then revised the type and gradually received re-certifications. However, the medium-haul jet continued to make headlines with production defects and put a strain on the manufacturer’s balance sheets.

Alaska Airlines has also increased its fleet in recent years with an improved version of the 737-9 Max. In total, the airline has around 300 aircraft, most of them from Boeing.


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