Alaska Airlines Flight 1282: Terrifying Door Plug Incident and Grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 Planes


Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 experienced a terrifying incident on Friday night when a door plug detached from the aircraft, forcing an emergency landing. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released photographs of the door plug, which was found tangled in tree branches and vines in a residential area near Portland. The plug, measuring 26 by 48 inches and weighing 63 pounds, will be examined by NTSB investigators to determine how it broke free from the jetliner.

A Frightening Ordeal

Passengers on Alaska Flight 1282 were left shaken when they heard a loud boom and witnessed a gaping hole in the cabin of the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft. One passenger recounted how a young boy seated near the hole had his shirt sucked off his body. The incident prompted Alaska Airlines to ground its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9 planes, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the grounding of 171 out of the 218 Max 9s in operation, including those used by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines.

Inspections and Cancellations

In response to the incident, Alaska Airlines canceled 20% of its flights on Monday, causing significant disruptions for travelers. United Airlines also canceled 8% of its scheduled flights for the day. However, progress is being made in addressing the issue. The FAA approved guidelines for inspecting and repairing door plugs on other Max 9 jets, which should expedite the return to service for the grounded planes.

Pressurization Light and Previous Incidents

Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the NTSB, highlighted that a pressurization light coming on during a Dec. 7 incident may not be connected to the recent door plug incident. However, the light did come on again during a flight on Jan. 3 and after the plane landed on Jan. 4, just a day before the door blowout occurred. The investigation will aim to determine any potential links between these incidents.

Boeing’s Response

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has called for a companywide webcast to address the incident with employees and senior leadership. Calhoun emphasized the importance of working transparently with customers and regulators to understand and address the causes of the event, ensuring that such incidents do not happen again.

A Troubled History

The Boeing 737 Max series has faced significant issues in the past. Two Max 8 jets crashed in 2018 and 2019, resulting in the deaths of 346 people. As a result, all Max 8 and Max 9 planes were grounded worldwide for nearly two years until Boeing implemented changes to the aircraft’s automated flight control system. The Max has also experienced other problems, including manufacturing flaws, concerns about overheating, and potential issues with the rudder system.

Alaska Airlines Door Plug

The investigation into the door plug incident is ongoing, and it is crucial for all parties involved to work together to prevent similar incidents in the future. With the FAA’s approval of inspection guidelines and the commitment from Boeing to address the issue, steps are being taken to ensure the safety and reliability of the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft.