A recent incident involving a door plug detaching mid-flight from an Alaska Airlines passenger plane has sparked concerns over potential oversight issues in Boeing’s production process.
According to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal, the absence of markings on the door plug indicates a failure to reinstall bolts during production, raising questions about procedural adherence at Boeing’s factory. The incident occurred during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, causing cabin depressurization and resulting in the loss of personal belongings and damage to passengers’ attire.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) promptly grounded the affected aircraft, impacting operations for Alaska and United Airlines, the two primary carriers operating the MAX 9. Amid safety concerns, the FAA has denied Boeing’s request for production expansion, emphasizing the need for comprehensive inspections and maintenance on all grounded MAX 9 jets before reinstatement.
Alaska Airlines has resumed MAX 9 flights following rigorous inspections, signaling progress in addressing safety issues. However, the FAA continues to investigate Boeing’s manufacturing practices, including scrutiny of subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems, which is responsible for fuselage production.
This incident underscores the importance of stringent oversight in ensuring flight safety and regulatory compliance within the aerospace industry.