Bolts appeared to be missing from Boeing door panel that blew off during Alaska Airlines flight, says report

6 February 2024, 20:51 | Updated: 6 February 2024, 20:54

A door that blew off a new Boeing 737 Max 9 shortly after take-off appeared to be missing four key bolts, a new report has said
A door that blew off a new Boeing 737 Max 9 shortly after take-off appeared to be missing four key bolts, a new report has said. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

A door that blew off a new Boeing 737 Max 9 shortly after take-off appeared to be missing four key bolts, a new report has said.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The US National Transportation Safety Board released findings from its investigation into the Alaska Airlines flight which saw a door plug knocked out after taking off in Portland, Oregon, on January 5.

The apparent manufacturing error caused uncontrolled decompression of the aircraft, which was forced to make an emergency landing. All passengers survived the flight but three sustained minor injuries.

Some 171 of 218 Boeing 737 Max 9 jets were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration following the incident. But plains have now been allowed to return to service if they pass inspections.

The US safety regulator has now released photographic evidence alongside the preliminary findings of its investigation.

Boeing 737 MAX 9 San Diego International Airport Inspections 11
Boeing 737 MAX 9 San Diego International Airport Inspections 11. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Boeing flags potential delays after supplier finds new problem with some 737s

Read More: Low-cost airlines report busier January but fill fewer seats on planes

Spirit AeroSystems manufactured the door and was installed before being delivered to Boeing to be installed on the plane.

The report said the door plug was removed in the factory due to damage sustained during the production process.

The door plug was reinstalled, the report said, but at least three of the four bolts were not put back in place.

Boeing conceded to regulators, shareholders, passengers, and airlines that it has "more work to do" to repair its reputation. It confirmed some 94% of the affected jets have resumed service.

The incident in January occurred when the unused emergency exit, also known as a door plug, flew off. It left a gaping hole in the side of the mid-air plane.

The plane had just taken off from Portland International Airport when it suffered a huge loss of cabin pressure as compressed air escaped from the plane and was replaced with thinner air from a high altitude.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Capitol

Supreme Court to rule if Trump can be prosecuted in election interference case

Richard Lewis has died aged 76.

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis dies aged 76 after suffering heart attack

Obit Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis, humorously morose star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, dies aged 76

Robert Brown's lost his bid for parole.

BA pilot Robert Brown who bludgeoned wife to death with claw hammer loses bid for early prison release

Film Oscars-Guide

Everything you need to know about this year’s Oscars ceremony

It is understood that RedBird IMI is offering to help pay the £1.16 billion in debts that the current owners, the Barclay family, owe to Lloyds Bank.

Foreign governments must be banned from owning British newspapers, says former Tory cabinet minister

Creech was due to be taken to the execution chamber where he would be strapped down onto a medical table.

Death row execution abandoned after officials 'unable' to give lethal injection - with inmate's death warrant to expire

Mexico volcano

Flights cancelled as Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupts

Lee Anderson

Police 'looking into hate speech complaint against Lee Anderson' after MP said Sadiq Khan was controlled by Islamists

New data suggests fewer children are starting their education school-ready.

‘Things are poorer than ever before’: Headteacher says as poll finds fewer kids starting education are school-ready

Israel Palestinians

Food aid reaches north Gaza for first time in weeks, Israeli officials say

The raid also found Class A drugs in the London property, with one of the men later arrested on suspicion of drug supply.

Duo suspected of running smuggling ring through UK airports arrested after 'booking 27 migrants onto 11 flights'

Ben Jamal said James Cleverly's comments were 'absurd'

Palestine protest leader says James Cleverly's call for activists to end Gaza marches is 'absurd'

The 31-year-old criticised the script he was given, branding it as "15 pages of AI-generated gibberish.

'The script was 15 pages of AI-generated gibberish': Willy Wonka actor breaks silence on disastrous event

Child rescued

Helicopter’s thermal imaging camera helps find child in Florida swamp

Congress Senate

Mitch McConnell to step down as US Senate Republican leader in November