Alaska Airlines Resumes Boeing 737 Max 9 Flights After Emergency Landing Incident


File - An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 awaits inspection at the airline's hangar at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport onJan. 10, 2024, in SeaTac, Wash. Alaska Airlines has begun flying Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners again for the first time Friday, Jan. 26, since they were grounded after a panel blew out of the side of one of the airline's planes. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson, File)
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(AURN News) – Alaska Airlines has returned portions of its Boeing 737 Max 9 fleet to operation after one of its planes made an emergency landing on January 5 due to a blowout that caused a “door-sized” hole in the cabin. Flight 1282 was en route from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, when the incident occurred, forcing the aircraft to return. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been investigating a door plug issue with the Max 9 fleet.

The airline announced the resumption of services last Friday afternoon, with a flight from Seattle to San Diego. Alaska Airlines emphasized that the FAA has approved their inspection and maintenance processes before allowing the aircraft to return to service.

In a statement, the airline stated, “Each of our 737-9 MAX will return to service only after the rigorous inspections are completed and each plane is deemed airworthy according to FAA requirements. The individual inspections are expected to take up to 12 hours per aircraft.” 

Alaska Airlines anticipates completing all inspections by the end of January, including ongoing oversight of the production of the Boeing 737-9 Max. Despite the aircraft’s return to service, the FAA remains vigilant and has underscored the seriousness of the incident. 

“This won’t be back to business as usual for Boeing. We will not agree to any request from Boeing for an expansion in production or approve additional production lines for the 737 MAX until we are satisfied that the quality control issues uncovered during this process are resolved,” affirmed FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.

The FAA has outlined enhanced maintenance requirements, including inspecting specific bolts, guide tracts, and fittings, as well as addressing damage and abnormal conditions, among other measures. A Boeing Safety Culture Review report which began in 2023 is expected to be released within a few weeks according to the FAA.

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

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