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United Airlines Identifies Loose Bolts on 737 Max 9 Door Plugs After Alaska Airlines Mid-Air Door Blowout

January 8, 2024







United Airlines has revealed a concerning issue with its grounded 737 Max 9 planes, discovering loose bolts on door plugs just days after an alarming mid-air incident involving an Alaska Airlines plane. The incident led to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounding all Boeing 737 Max 9s involved until safety assurances are met.

The preliminary inspections conducted by United Airlines identified installation problems in the door plug, specifically loose bolts that required additional tightening. The airline, with 79 Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes, has not disclosed the exact number of affected aircraft but assured that its Tech Ops team is addressing the findings to ensure a safe return to service.

Acknowledging the severity of the situation, United Airlines anticipates “significant cancellations” on Tuesday as they work diligently to return the affected planes to service. Already, 200 MAX 9 flights have been canceled in the aftermath of the Alaska Airlines incident, which necessitated an emergency landing.

The FAA’s grounding of the Max 9s implicated in the incident underlines the gravity of the safety concerns. Both Alaska and United, the exclusive U.S. operators of Max 9 aircraft, are tasked with addressing these issues promptly. Notably, these two carriers collectively operate nearly two-thirds of the 215 Max 9 aircraft in service globally, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium. With Alaska Airlines owning 64 MAX 9s, the impact of these safety measures reverberates across the industry, emphasizing the need for thorough investigations and swift resolutions.


Credit: CBS News

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