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Updated January 6th, 2024 at 14:20 IST

US airline grounds Boeing 737 Max 9 fleet after emergency landing due to in-flight window blowout

Passengers witnessed insulation and debris through the blown-out window gap in the back third of the plane, not designated as an emergency exit.

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A US airline has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 9 planes following an emergency landing caused by a blown-out window mid-flight, resulting in a significant hole in the fuselage. Passengers reported seeing insulation material and debris through the gap. The affected area, located in the back third of the plane behind the wing and engines, is not an emergency exit for Alaska Airlines, the operator of the aircraft.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 experienced the incident at 16,000 feet shortly after takeoff, prompting the deployment of oxygen masks. The crew reported a pressurisation issue, leading to a safe return. The airline's CEO, Minicucci, expressed sympathy for the passengers and praised the response of the pilots and flight attendants.

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Images from inside the aircraft revealed a leaning window seat without its cushion, apparently unoccupied during the incident. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating, while Boeing acknowledged the incident and is collaborating with authorities. The Boeing 737 Max, previously grounded for a year and a half after two fatal crashes, underwent modifications before resuming service. The FAA recently urged airlines to inspect Max models for potential issues in the rudder control systems. Boeing has committed to increasing the pace of 737 Max deliveries after resolving supply errors. Approximately 1,300 737 Max aircraft have been delivered to customers, according to Boeing data.

(This is a developing story)

 

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Published January 6th, 2024 at 14:13 IST

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