Boeing to Update Inspection Guidelines for 737 Max 9 Following Midflight Panel Dislodgement

Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, is set to update the inspection guidelines for its 737 Max 9 planes. This decision comes after a panel was dislodged during an Alaska Airlines flight last week, and loose hardware was discovered on similar model planes by Alaska and United Airlines during initial checks. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced this on Tuesday. Following the incident on the Alaska Airlines flight, the FAA grounded many jets of the same model. Boeing issued inspection instructions for these jets on Monday, which received FAA approval.


The instructions, contained in multi-operator messages, are being revised based on feedback from airlines, the company, and inspectors. Boeing initially provided a version of the instructions, which is now being updated due to the feedback received. The FAA will conduct a comprehensive review once it receives the updated instructions from Boeing.


The FAA stated that all Boeing 737-9 Max planes with a plug door will remain grounded until each can be safely operated again. The agency emphasized that public safety, not speed, will dictate the timeline for the Boeing 737-9 Max's return to service. Boeing confirmed on Tuesday that it is maintaining close communication with its customers and the FAA. The company is making updates as part of the process, based on their feedback and requirements.

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is focusing its investigation into the Alaska Airlines accident on the failure of the door plug on the nearly new 737 Max 9. An NTSB official revealed at a Monday night press conference that all 12 stops that secure the door in place became disengaged during the flight, causing it to be ejected from the fuselage. The door's guide tracks were also broken. The NTSB has yet to recover the bolts that secure it and has not determined if they were present. The NTSB will further analyze the dislodged door at its Washington lab. The door was discovered by a school teacher in Oregon, as reported by the agency earlier this week.

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