Boeing Official States Company Will Evaluate Need for Further Measures Following NTSB Report

Boeing is set to assess whether more action is needed following recent findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB's investigation was initiated due to an incident involving a Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet, where a door panel flew off mid-flight. The preliminary report from the NTSB revealed that the door panel appeared to be missing four key bolts.


The initial findings indicated that the door plug had to be removed and reinstalled at Boeing's factory in Renton, Washington. However, photos taken during repair work on the plane in September showed no evidence that the bolts were replaced after removal. The investigators did not weigh in on whether the reinstallation was performed by Boeing or supplier Spirit AeroSystems, which conducted repair work to nearby rivets.

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In response to these findings, a Boeing quality official stated that the company would look at the preliminary results from the NTSB's investigation and decide whether to take more action around the door plug. Doug Ackerman, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of supplier quality, said during an aerospace supply chain conference near Seattle, "We're going to look at the changes we've already put in place in our factories and other places around the plug specifically". If Boeing found it had already made the changes needed to address the specific problems raised by the NTSB investigation, Ackerman added, "We're going to look at other places where we need to apply the same rigor".

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This incident comes at a time when Boeing is already under scrutiny for manufacturing defects that have delayed aircraft deliveries. The U.S. planemaker has traced defects to issues such as employee turnover, financial instability, or new work taken on by a supplier. Boeing is working with some companies to develop inspection plans that can cut down on defective parts moving up the supply chain. The incident and subsequent investigation have highlighted the importance of rigorous quality control in aircraft manufacturing. As Boeing assesses its next steps, the aviation industry will be watching closely. The company's response could set a precedent for how manufacturers address safety concerns in the future.

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