Boeing is implementing new quality control checks and inspections for its 737 MAX 9 aircraft after a plug door blowout incident with Alaska Airlines. The CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes outlined steps to restore confidence with customers and regulators, including inspections of affected fleets and additional data requests from the FAA. The FAA announced increased oversight of Boeing’s production and manufacturing, including a potential audit and exploration of third-party oversight. Alaska Airlines has also announced its own quality control audit for its 737-9 MAX aircraft. The FAA grounded 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9s, including 65 from Alaska Airlines, after the plug door incident.
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Boeing Increases Quality Control After Alaska Air 737 MAX 9 Incident
The recent incident involving an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 plug door separation has prompted Boeing to take immediate action. The CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Stan Deal, is putting into place measures to restore confidence with customers and regulators. This comes after the Federal Administration Agency (FAA) grounded all 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9s, including 65 Alaska Airlines jets, following the plug door blowout.
In a recent internal memo, Deal outlined the steps being taken. These include working with affected airlines to inspect their 737-9 fleets and ensuring that the plug doors are installed properly. Additionally, Boeing will allow 737 MAX operators to come to its factories for additional oversight inspections, adding another layer of scrutiny to the manufacturing process.
Reflecting the seriousness of the situation, the FAA has been closely involved, conducting an audit of the 737-9 MAX production line and suppliers to evaluate Boeing’s compliance with quality procedures. FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker stated, “The grounding of the 737-9 and the multiple production-related issues identified in recent years require us to look at every option to reduce risk.” This includes exploring the use of an independent third party to oversee Boeing’s inspections and quality system.
The importance of quality control in the aerospace industry cannot be overstated. Fun Fact: In 2015, Boeing produced approximately ten 737s per month. These planes hold 50% of the market.
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