Alaska Airlines Emergency: 197 Planes Suspended Following Startling Mid-Air Incident on New Aircraft Baffles Aviation Experts
Urgent Safety Inspections Ordered for Alaska Airlines Aircraft After Cabin Emergency
Following a harrowing incident involving an Alaska Airlines plane, US regulators are calling for immediate inspections. The Boeing 737-9 MAX suffered a cabin emergency shortly after take-off, resulting in a substantial hole in its fuselage. Fortunately, the aircraft landed safely in Oregon with over 170 passengers and six crew members on board, but items were reportedly sucked out of the plane.
In response to the incident, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines have grounded 79 and 65 planes, respectively, leading to numerous cancellations. Latin American carriers, including Copa Airlines and Aeromexico, have also taken precautions by grounding and temporarily removing planes from service. Additionally, Turkish Airlines is examining five of its aircraft as a precautionary measure, taking up to eight hours for each inspection.
While Flydubai's three Boeing 737-9 MAX planes remain unaffected, other airlines are facing disruptions. The Federal Aviation Administration has warned of potential further actions, emphasizing the need for comprehensive safety measures.
Investigations are ongoing to locate the blown-off fuselage, believed to be in the Cedar Hills suburb of Portland. Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, highlighted the importance of passenger safety, noting that the incident could have been much worse.
Although there have been no reported serious injuries, the psychological impact on passengers is acknowledged. The Civil Aviation Authority in the UK has urged foreign airlines to conduct inspections before entering British airspace, despite no 737 MAX-9 planes being registered in the UK.
The Alaska Airlines plane involved had only been in service for eight weeks, and the blown-off fuselage covered space reserved for an extra evacuation door. This incident adds to the challenges faced by Boeing as it continues to recover from previous high-profile crashes.
Aviation experts express surprise at the fuselage detachment, emphasizing the importance of passengers staying buckled in during flights. Passengers on Flight 1282 shared their terrifying experiences, including a loud bang, whooshing sounds, and the sudden deployment of oxygen masks.
Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci expressed sympathy for those on board, apologizing for the distressing ordeal they experienced. The aviation community remains focused on ensuring the continued safety of air travel despite this unexpected and alarming incident