United Airlines finds loose bolts on several Boeing 737 Max 9 planes

NEW DELHI: United Airlines on Tuesday said it has discovered loose bolts and “installation issues” on some of its Boeing 737 Max 9 jets.
These issues were found during inspections carried out after mid-flight fuselage blowout on a similar Alaska Airlines jet on Friday. The inspections are focused on plugs used to seal an area where extra emergency doors are not required on United and Alaska Max 9s.The plug that blew off the Alaska plane during the incident in Oregon was part of this area.
“Since we began preliminary inspections on Saturday, we have found instances that appear to relate to installation issues in the door plug – for example, bolts that needed additional tightening,” United Airlines stated.
Following the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all Max 9s operated by Alaska and United, as well as some flown by foreign airlines. The FAA has also approved guidelines for inspecting and repairing door plugs on other Max 9 jets.
The plane, which had been heading for Southern California, made it back to Portland and none of the 171 passengers and six crew members was seriously injured.
Prior to the incident, the aircraft had been restricted from flying to Hawaii due to a warning light indicating a possible pressurization problem.
Alaska Airlines decided not to let the aircraft make long flights over water so that it “could return very quickly to an airport” if the warning light reappeared, said Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading the investigation, will examine the pressurization light issue, although it may be unrelated to the blowout incident. The NTSB has recovered the lost door plug near Portland and will analyze it for further insights into how it broke free.
The cockpit voice recorder did not capture any audio from the flight as it recorded over after two hours. The NTSB also found two cell phones belonging to passengers on the ground near the incident site.
Following the incident, both Alaska and United have had to cancel numerous flights. Alaska Airlines had to cancel 20% of its flights, while United cancelled 8% of its scheduled flights for Monday.
(With agency inputs) Source

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