Steps Taken at Boeing After Alaska Airlines Midair Door Plug Blowout

On Friday, January 5, the door plug of a commercial Boeing 737 Max 9 airplane blew off, opening a large hole on the side of the plane.

Federal inquiries following the mid-air incident on the Alaska Airlines flight continue as, according to Wall Street Journal reporting, bolts needed to secure the aircraft's plug doors were missing as it left the factory.

In this National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) handout, an opening is seen in the fuselage of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX on January 7, 2024, in Portland, Oregon. [NTSB/Getty Images]



While the 737 Max 9 jets are no longer grounded, fallout over the incident continues as Boeing has halted expansion of production of the aircraft.

"Our near-term task has been helping these customers restore their operations," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal. "Our team worked diligently to finalize the detailed inspection protocol for the mid-exit door plug, which the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approved."

"Our long-term focus is on improving our quality so that we can regain the confidence of our customers, our regulator and the flying public. Frankly, we have disappointed and let them down. We are deeply sorry for the significant disruption and frustration for our customers, some of whom have been publicly and unfairly criticized. We have heard from our regulator, which has announced it won't allow 737 MAX production increases until they are satisfied we have improved our quality control. We own these issues and will make them right."

Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, speaks with teammates Jan. 25 at the Quality Stand Down in Renton, Wash.



Boeing has taken the following steps to strengthen quality assurance and controls across its factories:

While the federal inquiry continues, Boeing's Airplane Programs team is reviewing the hundreds of opportunities and prioritizing improvements that should be implemented first. They have been holding quality stand downs at all Commercial Airplanes programs and sites over the last few weeks.

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