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Alaska Airlines Plane Had Been Barred From Long Flights Over Water

On January 7, 2024, Alaska Airlines restricted the use of a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane after a pressurization warning light went off during three separate flights in weeks prior to the incident. The plane lost a section of its fuselage on a flight from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, just after takeoff, allowing fierce winds at around 16,000 feet to blow into the passenger cabin and make an emergency landing. No one was seriously injured, but the incident spooked airlines and authorities, who ordered dozens of 737-Boeing Max aircraft in the US to stay grounded.

Pressurization Warning Light

The pressurization warning light had gone off on the plane during previous flights, but Alaska Airlines had not completed the necessary maintenance check before the incident. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced mandatory inspections affecting 171 Max 9 planes, and Alaska Airlines canceled 170 flights on Sunday due to the order.

Investigation and Grounding

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the cause of the incident, and the FAA has ordered some Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes to be grounded and issued a directive requiring inspections before certain aircraft can fly again. The new directive affects 171 planes worldwide. The NTSB has not yet determined whether the pressurization warning light played a role in the incident, but it is a concern that needs further investigation.

Alaska Airlines Plane

Door Plug Issue

A missing door plug that could be key to the investigation into what caused it to detach from the plane midflight has been found in an Oregon teacher’s backyard. The door plug was fastened and secured with screws, but it is unclear whether it sustained such violent force that their frames had “torqued”. The NTSB, the FAA, and Alaska Airlines recommend, but don’t require, that young children travel in car seats secured in separate, ticketed seats.

Long-Lasting Implications

The emergency aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 may have long-lasting implications for Boeing, as well as Alaska Airlines. The incident has raised questions about the safety of the 737 Max 9 aircraft and the need for further investigation and maintenance checks. The FAA has ordered temporary grounding of certain Boeing planes, and the NTSB is still investigating the cause of the incident.

In conclusion, the Alaska Airlines plane that lost a section of its fuselage on a long flight over water had been barred from further long flights due to the pressurization warning light issue. The NTSB and FAA are still investigating the cause of the incident, and the future of the 737 Max 9 aircraft remains uncertain.

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