Alaska Airlines returned its Boeing 737 MAX 9 fleet to service after inspections and approval from the FAA following a grounding prompted by an incident where the rear door of one aircraft blew out mid-air due to loose bolts. The first flight after the grounding, AS1146, was incident-free and carried the airline’s chief operating officer. New concerns about the safety of the aircraft arose when similarly untightened bolts were found during the investigation. There are 217 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft operated by 13 different airlines worldwide, with another 136 on order from 11 carriers. The incident has raised concerns about Boeing’s quality controls and tarnished the reputation of the 737 MAX program.
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“Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 fleet has been cleared for takeoff by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after an extensive inspection and a thorough grounding,” stated an official representative. This comes after the grounding of 170 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in the US following a harrowing mid-air incident due to loose bolts. The safety of the aircraft type and its similarities to the Boeing 737-900ER have been called into question, driving concerns about Boeing’s quality controls. The authorized return of the fleet marks a significant turning point for the troubled Boeing 737 MAX program.”
Fun fact: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded 170 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in the US on January 6, 2024, following a mid-air incident involving loose bolts.
Commentary: The grounded Boeing 737 MAX 9 fleet has been the center of concern due to the safety issues that have been raised. Balancing the public’s concern with reassurance is vital in restoring trust in the aircraft.
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