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FAA temporarily grounds 171 B-737 Max 9 aircraft

The family of the problematic Boeing model is back in the eye of the cyclone - 2 VIDEO

Following the recent news involving an Alaska Airlines B-737 Max 9, the American aviation authority FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has ordered the temporary grounding of some Boeing aircraft of the model operated by airlines US or foreign airlines within the territory of the United States.

“The FAA requires immediate inspections of certain Boeing-737 Max 9 aircraft before they can return to flight,” said FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker . "Safety will continue to guide our decision-making process as we assist with the NTSB's investigation into the Alaska Airlines flight 1282". The Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) requires operators to inspect affected aircraft before returning them to flight. The inspections will take four to eight hours per aircraft, concludes an FAA note. The EAD order will affect approximately 171 aircraft worldwide.

After the disasters of 2018 and 2019 which occurred in Indonesia and Ethiopia (Lion Air flight JT610, 189 victims; and Ethiopian Airlines, flight ET302, 157 victims), which had seen as protagonists two aircraft of the B-737 Max family, their global grounding and their troubled return to service, the Boeing aircraft once again caused concern when yesterday Italian time, a B-737 Max 9 operated precisely by the Alaska Airlines company flight 1282 on the Portland-Ontario route with 171 passengers and 6 crew members on board, was forced, 6 minutes after take-off, to reverse course towards the departure airport to land in emergency with the cabin -passengers in depressurization, due to one of the doors detaching in flight. Fortunately, crew and passengers were unharmed.

The manufacturer Boeing immediately released the following note: "We are aware of the accident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. We are working to gather more information and are in contact with our customer airline. A Boeing technical team is ready to support the investigation". It was January 5th Seattle time, USA.

Yesterday, following the measure taken by FAA, the company commented: "Safety is our top priority and we are deeply sorry for the impact this event has had on our customers and their passengers. We agree And we fully support the FAA's decision to require immediate inspections of B-737/9 aircraft with the same configuration as the affected aircraft. Additionally, a Boeing technical team is supporting the NTSB's investigation into last night's event. We will remain in close contact with our regulator and our customers".

It goes without saying that the airline involved in this latest incident, Alaska Airlines, had voluntarily grounded all its B-737/9s in its fleet immediately after the events. This has naturally led to great inconvenience on its network: yesterday, according to a note released by the company itself, at 4pm local time it had had to cancel a total of 160 connections with repercussions on around 23 thousand passengers. Not to mention the rescheduling of today's and the next few days' flight schedule. The aircraft involved in this latest episode was delivered on 31 October 2023. The part of the aircraft involved is called a "plug door", which is a specific panel of the fuselage near the rear part of the vehicle. "Several passengers on board sustained injuries that required medical attention", the airline concluded.

Gic - 1255767

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency