March 3, 2024

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Alaska Airlines grounded Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft after a fuselage plug appeared to explode in flight, forcing an emergency landing.

Alaska Airlines grounded Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft after a fuselage plug appeared to explode in flight, forcing an emergency landing.



CNN

Alaska Airlines temporarily grounded its fleet of Boeing 737-9 Max jets after one of its planes made an emergency landing in Oregon on Friday, an incident a passenger said included part of the plane exploding in flight, officials said.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, flying from Portland to Ontario, California, returned safely to Portland International Airport around 5 p.m. PT after the crew “reported a pressure issue,” the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Passenger Kyle Rinker told CNN that a panel of the plane's fuselage, including the panel window, exploded shortly after takeoff.

“It was really sudden. I had just reached altitude, the window/wall blew out and I didn't notice it until the oxygen masks came off,” Rinker said.

The Port of Portland Fire Department said firefighters were called to evaluate minor injuries after the landing, and no serious injuries were reported.

One of the passengers video The social media post shows a side section of the fuselage, where a window was missing, exposing passengers to outside air. The video, which appears to have been taken from several rows behind the crash, shows oxygen masks spread throughout the plane, and at least two people sitting near and directly behind the missing section.

Alaska Airlines said in a statement late Friday that it is working with Boeing to understand what happened on board Flight 1282.. The 737-9 MAX aircraft received its airworthiness certificate on October 25, 2023. According to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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The airline said that the company's grounded fleet of 65 Boeing 737-9 aircraft is expected to undergo full maintenance and safety checks over the next few days before being returned to service.

“My heart breaks for those on this flight – I am so sorry for what you went through,” Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci He said In the current situation.

Although the airline acknowledged that an accident occurred on board Flight 1282 on Friday, it did not provide details about the nature of the incident. The plane landed safely at Portland International Airport with 171 guests and six crew members on board He said.

according to FlightAwareThe flight remained in the air for approximately 20 minutes. The plane departed Portland International Airport at approximately 5:07 p.m. local time and landed at 5:27 p.m

“Really loud noise…and a buzzing noise.”

Evan Smith, a passenger on the plane, told CNN affiliate: KBTV He was sitting at least six rows in front of the section where the accident occurred. “There was a very loud explosion at the back of the plane and all the masks fell off,” Smith said.

Emma Vu, another passenger, was asleep and woke up to a falling sensation and seeing emergency masks falling off, she told CNN in a phone call. It appears that she woke up after the panel section exploded; It was not clear how close it was to the missing painting.

Fu said she texted her parents the emergency code word to inform them of the incident. “I've never had to use it before, but I knew this was that moment,” Fu said.

She said the people sitting on either side of her comforted her. “The flight attendant also came and told me it would be okay,” Fu said. “The fact that everyone was kind of freaked out and that she took that time to make me feel like I was the only passenger — honestly that was really cool.”

She said Fu was planning to take a different flight to her intended destination on Saturday morning.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, the agencies said.

In a statement to CNN, Boeing said it is aware of an incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, and is working to gather additional information.

CNN I mentioned last month Which Boeing requested from airlines Inspected all of their 737 MAX aircraft There may be a loose bolt in the rudder system after an airline discovered a potential problem with a key part on two planes.

CNN transportation analyst Mary Schiavo said Saturday that the issue may be unrelated to the accident that occurred Friday. But overall, these issues raise serious questions about Boeing's quality control in manufacturing that the FAA should investigate, Schiavo said.

Boeing has engineering and quality problems It presented great challenges For the sake of the company. Two 737-8 Max plane crashes All 346 people were killed On flights it led to paralysis Grounding for 20 months From the plane. It was also one of the most expensive corporate tragedies in history, costing Boeing more than $100 million 20 billion dollars.

The MAX returned to the air, carrying passengers in most markets around the world starting in 2013 Late December 2020. But it has faced other problems, including in April when Boeing said it had discovered a manufacturing issue with some 737 MAX aircraft After I use the resourceNon-standard manufacturing process“While installing two pieces at the back of the fuselage – despite Boeing's insistence that the problem does not pose a safety risk.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CNN's Paradise Afshar and Tina Burnside contributed to this report.