US investigates Boeing over plane that had problems in flight: WSJ

The US Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation against Boeing over an incident that occurred in January on an Alaska Airlines 737-9 (MAX) aircraft, as a result of which a panel came off in flight, The Wall Street Journal reports. VSJ).

According to the publication, citing documents and sources familiar with the investigation, Justice Department investigators have already contacted some passengers and crew members, including pilots and flight attendants, who were on board the flight on January 5.

In a statement published by The Wall Street Journal, Boeing considers the opening of the investigation “normal” and says it is “fully cooperating.”

The Boeing 737-9 (MAX) operated by Alaska Airlines began experiencing problems just seven minutes after takeoff on January 5 from Portland, Oregon, forcing pilots to make an emergency landing at the same airport where it took off.

What happened was that a panel designed to accommodate an additional escape door came off mid-flight, forcing the 117 people on board to take to the skies in the vacuum-vented plane.

According to a report released in February by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the panel did not have four key screws installed to secure it because they were not replaced while the panel was at Boeing’s plant in Renton, Washington.

Despite the incident, there were no serious injuries.

As a result of the Alaska Airlines incident, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737-9 (MAX) aircraft on January 6, which gradually returned to service 20 days later.

The FAA committed five years ago to strengthen oversight of Boeing after two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 involving 737-9 (MAX) jets triggered the biggest crisis in the company’s history.

The aircraft manufacturer accumulated losses over five years, first due to the 737-9 (MAX) crisis and then due to the economic situation caused by the pandemic.


Source: Aristegui Noticias