HomeAir LineThe Alaska Airlines part of the Boeing that separated mid-flight was not...

The Alaska Airlines part of the Boeing that separated mid-flight was not secured with bolts

Preliminary results of the investigation showed that an assembly failure caused the accident

Clearly someone forgot to put in or tighten the screws. The piece that jumped into the air mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines plane did not have the four corresponding stabilizers to keep it securely fixed. According to preliminary research results From the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which the agency published Tuesday.

Tests of the recovered door and fuselage indicated that all four bolts were “missing,” according to the NTSB report, which chose not to draw any conclusions about the cause of the Jan. 5 crash. “In general, the observed damage patterns and absence of contact damage or deformation around the holes associated with the vertical movement stop bolts and upper guide bolts in the upper guide devices,” the hinges and hardware recovered from the lower track of the rear hinges indicate that the four stop-motion bolts were The up plug (for the middle exit door) is missing before it moves up away from the stop pads. The 19-page report says, Illustrated with photographs and drawings.

“The investigation is continuing to determine which manufacturing documents were used to allow the left plug (center emergency door opening) to be opened and closed during installation work,” the document adds, referring to the panel that came off.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, a Boeing 737-9, departing from Portland International Airport (Oregon) en route to Ontario (California), was forced to return to the originating airport after the plug in the left-center exit door became loose. This causes rapid pressure relief. There were two cabin crew members, four cabin crew members and 171 passengers on board. Seven passengers and a flight attendant were slightly injured.

The report also recounts the uproar caused by the incident. “The captain said that while climbing to about 16,000 feet, there was a loud bang. The cabin crew said his ears exploded, and the captain said his head was forced into the head-up display (HUD) and his headphones were turned up, and he nearly fell off his head.” “The first officer reported that her headphones completely detached due to the rapid release of air from the flight deck,” the report said.

After the accident, the authorities revealed that Alaska Airlines decided to restrict the use of the plane that suffered from the problem and stop using it for flights to Hawaii after a warning light appeared that may indicate a pressure problem on three different flights. The company has stopped using it on long flights over water so that the plane can “return very quickly to the airport” if necessary, Jennifer Homendy, head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), explained Sunday. In a press conference. Some experts questioned whether the company would continue operating the plane after these warnings if it did not trust the device enough to allow it to cross the sea safely.

Boeing has been in crisis mode since that panel covering the gap is used in other configurations as a separate emergency door, leaving a gap in the fuselage mid-flight. After initiating the grounding of the vast majority of 737 MAX 9 aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opened a formal investigation against the company and then announced that it was transferring production to Boeing, in a severe blow to the company.

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Whitaker said Tuesday in an appearance before the House Transportation Subcommittee that his agency is halfway through a review of manufacturing at Boeing, but already knows changes must be made in the way the government oversees the manufacturer. For airplanes. Whitaker pointed out that Boeing, under pressure from airlines to produce large numbers of aircraft, did not pay enough attention to safety.

The company is taking steps to enhance quality in the 737 program, including additional inspections at its factory and key suppliers and increased oversight by airlines. It also decided to halt production of 737 aircraft for one day to refocus its employees on quality. In addition, Boeing appointed an external expert to conduct an independent, in-depth evaluation of the quality management system.

Sequence of problems

The problems haven’t stopped. The plane manufacturer revealed on Sunday that an employee at its supplier Spirit AeroSystems informed his boss last Thursday that two holes in the 737 MAX fuselage had not been drilled completely according to Boeing’s requirements. The supplier passed it on to the manufacturer, which will have to do additional work on about 50 planes, which could delay some deliveries.

A puncture problem in the rear pressure bulkhead supplied by Spirit AeroSystems slowed 737 MAX deliveries last year. Another issue with the tail fittings affected production in early 2023.

Boeing will also have to deal with the possibility of downtime later this year. Boeing’s largest union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, will demand a 40% pay increase over three or four years, encouraged by a resurgent American labor movement, a shortage of skilled aerospace workers and pressure on Boeing to stabilize employment in the United States. Its factories, according to Bloomberg.

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Source: Elpais.



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