United Airlines Discovers Loose Bolts and Parts on Five Boeing 737 Max 9 Aircrafts, Alaska Airlines Door Blown Out at 16,000ft in Near Deadly Disaster

FAA Clears Inspections for Grounded Boeing 737 Max 9 Planes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Monday that airlines are now permitted to conduct safety inspections on Boeing 737 Max 9 planes that were grounded.

This decision follows the recent blowout on Alaska Airlines flight 1282, which led to the FAA’s grounding of approximately 171 planes.

The aftermath saw Boeing shares plummeting over 9 percent.

United Airlines Discovers Loose Bolts

Reports indicate that during inspections of its 737 Max 9 aircraft, United Airlines uncovered loose bolts, a troubling revelation in the wake of the Alaska Airlines incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released new photos of the damaged Alaska Airlines door plug, emphasizing the severity of the issue.

The FAA’s authorization for safety inspections covers the 171 grounded Boeing 737 Max 9 planes.

United Airlines Addresses Installation Issues

United Airlines, based in Chicago, with 79 of the grounded planes, acknowledged findings related to installation issues during preliminary inspections.

These issues include loose bolts on plug doors, and the airline assured that its Tech Ops team would rectify these problems to ensure the safe return of the aircraft to service.

Financial Impact and Market Response

The terrifying incident on Alaska Airlines flight 1282 had immediate financial repercussions, causing Boeing shares to experience the most significant plunge in over a year.

The stock value dropped by $13.5 billion in the first day of trading after the incident.

The market also witnessed declines in shares of Alaska Air and United Airlines, as well as Spirit AeroSystems, the manufacturer of the fuselage part in question.

Airlines Take Precautionary Measures

Alaskan Airlines promptly grounded planes after the incident, emphasizing that the aircraft would only rejoin the fleet after passing precautionary maintenance procedures.

The FAA mandated immediate inspections before allowing certain jets to return to service.

The grounding of Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes aligns with actions taken by other airlines and regulators globally in response to similar safety concerns.

Airbus Competes Amid Boeing’s Challenges

Boeing’s recent setbacks contribute to the ongoing competition with Airbus.

The latter has steadily increased its market share, especially following the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes in 2018 and 2019 due to fatal crashes.

While Boeing faces challenges, Airbus continues to assert its dominance, expected to announce the delivery of 735 planes last year, maintaining its position as the world’s largest plane maker.

Investigation and Aviation History

The NTSB has initiated an investigation into the Alaska Airlines incident, focusing on the paneled-over exit door that blew off during the flight.

The affected Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet, in service since November 2023, had undergone fewer than 200 flights before the incident.

This incident follows a history of quality problems related to the 737 MAX family of aircraft, with analysts viewing it as a temporary setback for Boeing.

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