Safety Alert: Boeing 737-900ER Raises Concerns Compared to Earlier 737 Models

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued an urgent warning to airlines operating Boeing 737-900ER aircraft to inspect the mid-exit door plugs due to safety concerns. This comes after a door plug blew out of the newer Max model during an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this month.

The FAA’s safety alert for operators emphasizes the need for visual inspections to ensure the door plugs are properly secured on the Boeing 737-900ER, which has the same door plug design as the newer Max fleet. Boeing’s stock has plummeted following the incident, adding to the company’s ongoing challenges with quality and safety issues.

Following the alarming incident, some airlines have observed issues with bolts holding the door plugs in place. Both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines have reported finding loose bolts after inspecting their newer Max 9 aircraft. United Airlines has initiated proactive inspections of its Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and expects to complete them without disruption to customers.

Although the FAA’s notice does not ground the earlier generation of planes, it strongly recommends that airlines conduct inspections of the door plugs and bolts as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the newer Max 9 aircraft remain grounded in the United States as the agency continues to evaluate data from inspections to determine if they are safe to fly again.

This latest safety concern adds to Boeing’s history of aircraft challenges, including the long-term grounding of some jets and delayed deliveries of others. The company has pledged full support for the FAA and its customers in addressing this issue. As the aviation industry navigates this latest development, ongoing monitoring and proactive measures are essential to ensure the safety of passengers and the integrity of aircraft operations.

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