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FAA announces temporary grounding of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft after midair incident

Photos and video posted on social media showed a panel and window missing from the fuselage. There were no significant injuries.

Published: January 6, 2024 8:04am

Updated: January 6, 2024 1:40pm

The Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday announced the temporary grounding of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft after an in-air incident forced an emergency landing Friday night on the West Coast.

“The FAA is requiring immediate inspections of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes before they can return to flight,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement. “Safety will continue to drive our decision-making as we assist the NTSB’s investigation into Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.”

The Emergency Airworthiness Directive will require inspections of the planes that are expected to take four to eight hours each. Approximately 171 airplanes worldwide will be impacted.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 “reported a pressurization issue” while headed from Portland, Ore., to Ontario, Calif., and it landed safely back at Portland International Airport around 8 p.m. EST.

There were no significant injuries.

Photos and video posted on social media showed a panel and window missing from the fuselage.

Kyle Rinker, a passenger on the flight, told CNN a part of the plane simply came off shortly after the plane took off.

“It was really abrupt. Just got to altitude, and the window/wall just popped off and didn’t notice it until the oxygen masks came off,” Rinker said.

Alaska Airlines said it would ground all of its Boeing 737-9 Max jetliners until each was inspected.

“We anticipate all inspections will be completed in a few days,” it said.

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