FAA grounds over 170 Boeing aircraft after Alaska Airlines incident

 January 7, 2024

The aircraft industry was rocked this week after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded more than 170 specific planes.

According to the Washington Times, the FAA grounded 71 Boeing 737 Air Max 9 aircraft. The planes will be inspected "following an incident in which a panel of fuselage blew out of an Alaska Airlines flight."

The inspections required to get the planes airworthy will take "four to eight hours" per aircraft.

The plans that have been inspected so far haven't turned up any critical findings, according to early reports.

What happened?

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker announced the grounding of the planes, which caused significant disruptions in flights.

"The FAA is requiring immediate inspections of certain Boeing 737 Max 9 planes before they can return to flight," said Whitaker. "Safety will continue to drive our decision-making as we assist the [National Transportation Safety Board’s] investigation into Alaska Airlines Flight 1282."

The Times noted:

The grounding comes after Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, bound for Ontario, California on Friday, returned to Portland, Oregon, shortly after taking off.

There was an obvious hole in the plane after its fuselage blew out along with one of the plane's windows.

Oxygen masks were activated during the incident, but luckily none of the 174 passengers were injured as the plane was able to land safely.

Social media users react

Users across social media were skeptical about the incident that caused the situation on the plane.

"Once again, the reckless pursuit of profits over safety has led to the grounding of yet another 737 MAX. This stark example of corporate negligence shows what happens when companies prioritize their bottom line over human lives, fast-tracking flawed designs to bolster shareholder pockets. How many more incidents will it take before real change happens? Ask yourself, given this track record, would you dare to set foot on a 737 MAX?" one X user asked.

Another X user wrote, "This is a cursed airframe that will seemingly only continue to have shocking incidents."

Only time will tell if the rest of the planes pass inspection. Boeing can't afford another incident.

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