NATIONAL NEWS

Boeing to increase quality inspections on 737-Max following Alaska Airlines blow out

Jan 15, 2024, 10:39 AM | Updated: 10:42 am

In this National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) handout photo, plastic covers the exterior of t...

In this National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) handout photo, plastic covers the exterior of the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737 Max 9 on Jan. 7, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: NTSB via Getty Images)

(Photo: NTSB via Getty Images)

Boeing told employees Monday that it plans to increase quality inspections of its 737 Max 9 aircraft, following the failure of an emergency exit door panel on an Alaska Airlines flight last week.

It is the latest in a series of troubles for Boeing, whose reputation as the premier American aircraft manufacturer has been tarnished by a series of manufacturing flaws that have led some airlines to hold off aircraft purchases or go with its European rival, Airbus.

The inspections come after Federal regulators grounded the 737 Max, and that Boeing has said that after the Alaska Airlines flight and customer complaints, it is “clear that we are not where we need to be” on quality assurance and controls.

“Our team is also taking a hard look at our quality practices in our factories and across our production system,” said Stan Deal, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in an email to employees.

Boeing is also bringing in airline customers and independent inspectors to go over the aircraft as needed, Deal wrote.

One of two door plugs on an Alaska Max 9 blew out shortly after the plane took off from Portland, Oregon, a week ago, leaving a hole in the plane. The cabin lost pressure and the plane was forced to descend rapidly and return to Portland for an emergency landing. No serious injuries were reported.

Following the incident, Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that it plans an investigation into whether the manufacturer failed to make sure a fuselage panel that blew off was safe and manufactured to meet the design that regulators approved.

The National Transportation Safety Board is focusing its investigation on plugs used to fill spots for extra doors when those exits are not required for safety reasons on Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners.

The incident on the Alaska plane is the latest in a string of mishaps for Boeing that began in 2018, with the first of two crashes of Max 8 planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia — and more than four months apart — that killed a total of 346 people.

Max 8 and Max 9 planes were grounded worldwide for nearly two years after the second crash. Since then, various manufacturing flaws have at times held up deliveries of Max jets and a larger Boeing plane, the 787. Last month, the company asked airlines to inspect their Max jets for a loose bolt in the rudder-control system.

 

National News

Associated Press

Vermont man sentenced to 25 years in prison for kidnapping woman and son outside of a mall

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of kidnapping a woman and her 4-year-old son by forcing them into her car outside a New Hampshire mall and bringing them to Vermont while he was searching for his estranged wife. Everett Simpson, 46, was […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Singer Justin Timberlake arrested and accused of driving while intoxicated on New York’s Long Island

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Timberlake was arrested early Tuesday on allegations that the singer was driving while intoxicated on New York’s Long Island, authorities said. Timberlake was released from custody later in the morning after being arraigned in Sag Harbor, on the eastern end of Long Island. He was charged with one DWI count, […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Residents flee New Mexican town as wildfires bear down on village of 7,000

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of the mountain village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico fled their homes under evacuation orders with little time to rescue belongings as fast-moving wildfires bore down on the town of 7,000 residents. Traffic clogged downtown streets of the normally pastoral village and summer vacation destination for hours Monday […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Tens of millions in the US are under dangerous heat warnings

PHOENIX (AP) — Extreme heat alerts continued for tens of millions of people in the United States on Tuesday as cities including Chicago broke records at the start of a week of sweltering weather. States in the Midwest started to bake Monday in what the National Weather Service called a dangerous and long duration heat […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Convicted killer of California college student Kristin Smart ordered to pay $350k in restitution

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — A California judge ruled Monday that a man convicted of killing 19-year-old college student Kristin Smart in 1996 must pay just over $350,000 to her family for costs they incurred after her death. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe ordered Paul Flores to make the payments after a […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Central African Republic faces increased rebel activity and spillover from Sudan war, UN experts say

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Activities of armed groups in the volatile Central African Republic have increased, complicating a security landscape that has seen a spillover of the conflict in neighboring Sudan, U.N. experts warn in a new report. The panel of experts cite confirmed reports of air raids by the Sudanese military around border areas […]

16 hours ago

Boeing to increase quality inspections on 737-Max following Alaska Airlines blow out