Authorities have halted all Boeing 737 Max 9 planes after an incident in the sky saw the door being blown out, nearly sucking out a child in the process. The plane made an emergency landing and no one was hurt, but this isn’t the first time the Boeing Max has come under scrutiny.
Boeing Jets Grounded After Harrowing Incident
More than 170 Boeing 737 Max 9 passenger jets have been grounded following a harrowing mid-flight incident that saw a door blow out in an Alaska Airlines plane during a service from Oregon to California. This unprecedented event has triggered safety concerns globally, leading to a comprehensive inspection of planes of the same model.
The repercussions of this incident extend beyond the immediate safety of passengers and crew, raising questions about the broader implications for Boeing’s 737 Max series, which has faced scrutiny and controversy in recent years.
During the Alaska Airlines flight, a section of the plane’s fuselage, housing a deactivated emergency door, blew out mid-air, causing an explosive depressurization. Passengers recounted the chaotic scene as phones, magazines, and even a child’s shirt were sucked out of the aircraft.
Miraculously, the two seats next to the compromised section were unoccupied, averting a potentially tragic outcome. The fact that the emergency door was not in use at the time prompted authorities to delve deeper into the design and safety features of the Boeing 737 Max 9.
Emergency Response and Lucky Escapes
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) promptly grounded 171 US-operated Boeing 737 Max 9 planes for safety checks. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also mandated inspections before allowing any of these planes to enter UK airspace.
Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported among the 171 passengers and six crew members, though a flight attendant sustained minor injuries. The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said, “We are very, very fortunate here that this didn’t end up in something more tragic.”
Passengers described a loud bang, followed by a sudden loss of cabin pressure and the deployment of oxygen masks. One toddler had his shirt pulled off, and a distressed mother struggled to prevent him from being pulled toward the breach. In a chilling distress call, the flight crew informed air traffic control of the emergency, leading to an emergency landing 35 minutes after takeoff.
The psychological impact on passengers cannot be understated, and the need for robust post-incident support for passengers affected is imperative. Passengers will need counselling to address the trauma experienced during such life-threatening events. One passenger’s texts to family were revealed online, that read, “I am so scared right now. Please pray for me,” followed by, “Please, I don’t want to die.”
Alaska Airlines Takes Action
Alaska Airlines, deeply concerned about passenger safety, promptly grounded its entire fleet of 65 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft for testing.
CEO Ben Minicucci said that each aircraft would only return to service after comprehensive maintenance and safety inspections, “Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections,” he said, followed by, “My heart goes out to those who were on this flight – I am so sorry for what you experienced.” Passengers who experienced the ordeal were offered complimentary flights with extra legroom, along with free drinks and snacks.
The incident prompted a global response, with the UK’s CAA leading inspections for planes entering its airspace. China’s aviation regulator is considering grounding the entire Boeing Max fleet. United Airlines also suspended service on all Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft for mandatory inspections.
The FAA is requiring immediate inspections before allowing these planes to return to flight, a process expected to take between four and eight hours per aircraft. These checks will prevent potentially hundreds more passengers from feeling the traumatic effects of the event. Another passenger revealed that the gap in the plane’s wall was “as wide as a refrigerator.”
Boeing’s Ongoing Struggles
This incident adds to Boeing’s recent challenges with its 737 Max series. Following two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that claimed 346 lives, these planes faced a worldwide grounding for nearly two years. The Max series only returned to service after extensive modifications.
Boeing is actively cooperating with investigations, expressing regret for the impact on passengers and supporting the FAA’s decision for immediate inspections. The company’s response to this crisis will be closely scrutinized, and it will play a crucial role in rebuilding trust not only in its 737 Max series but in the aviation industry as a whole.
The post Boeing Aircrafts Halted After Door Blow Out Mid Flight first appeared on Edge Media.
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