Gosh, The Boeing 737 MAX Is A Mess…

Gosh, The Boeing 737 MAX Is A Mess…

130

On January 5, 2024, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 had a deactivated emergency exit blow out inflight, leading to a rapid decompression, and making headlines globally. After all, it’s kind of terrifying to think that you could be sitting in a window seat on a plane, and suddenly part of the fuselage is just sucked out. The silver lining is that no one was seriously injured.

In the hours after this incident, I think many people assumed (or wanted to believe) that this was just some sort of a freak accident that didn’t have bigger implications for the jet. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case, unfortunately…

This situation just keeps getting worse for Boeing

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 9 following this incident. During this grounding, airlines had to perform inspections on these jets, to make sure the same problems didn’t exist with deactivated exits on other planes.

As it turns out, other planes have similar issues. Alaska and United are the two US carriers to fly the 737 MAX 9, and both have confirmed that they found issues related to the exit in question on some planes.

Here’s a statement that Alaska released:

“As our maintenance technicians began preparing our 737-9 MAX fleet for inspections, they accessed the area in question. Initial reports from our technicians indicate some loose hardware was visible on some aircraft.”

Here’s a statement that United released:

“Since we began preliminary inspections on Saturday, we have found instances that appear to relate to installation issues in the door plug — for example, bolts that needed additional tightening.”

At this point the FAA is working on creating inspection guidelines for these jets, to ensure that they’re safe to fly. It’s anyone’s guess how that plays out, given that the same issue has been found on other aircraft.

Unfortunately this isn’t the only issue for Boeing. As it turns out, during the rapid decompression, the Boeing 737 MAX 9’s cockpit door opened. That’s actually intentional, and I can understand the logic for that. There’s only one small problem — the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as well as pilots weren’t aware of this “feature.” Boeing has promised to make changes to how that’s communicated to airlines.

Good thing Boeing doesn’t have a history of not disclosing certain aircraft “features” to regulators and airlines…. oh wait!

Alaska found issues on other Boeing 737 MAX 9s

Is this a major problem for Boeing, or a small mishap?

This situation sure feels like déjà vu, given the Boeing 737 MAX’s history. On the plus side, at least in this case it didn’t take two crashes with over 300 fatalities for regulators, the aircraft manufacturer, or airlines, to take action.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is wondering if this current fiasco will be something that leads to these planes being grounded for just a few days, or if this could look similar to what happened in 2019 and 2020, when the 737 MAX was grounded for nearly two years.

The outcome of this obviously has major implications for Boeing, and for airlines like Alaska, which rely heavily on the 737 MAX 9 to operate their network. A few thoughts:

  • The good news is that it seems like it’s not too complicated to frequently inspect these jets, and at least there was a warning in advance about pressurization issues (which were… sort of ignored), so hopefully these issues don’t lead to any fatalities
  • Regulators are incentivized to err on the side of caution, given how the 737 MAX disaster played out the first time around, and how bad that looked for the FAA
  • The fact that Boeing once again failed to disclose important safety features of the aircraft looks very bad for Boeing; then again, given all we know, it’s not like anyone thinks Boeing is an ethical company anymore
  • Even once the 737 MAX 9 returns to the skies, I have to imagine a sizable number of people won’t be comfortable sitting near this deactivated emergency exit, so I have to wonder if airlines might have to block off these seats for some amount of time, or something
  • This issue seems very bad for the Boeing 737 MAX 10 finally getting approved by regulators, as that’s supposed to be imminent; never mind Boeing 777X certification, which has been delayed by about five years
  • I have to imagine that foreign regulators might be even more cautious than the FAA, especially regulators from countries that might have political motives for doing so (like China)

I think it’s too early to know for sure how this plays out. As of now, I’m more in the camp of thinking that this is going to be a huge deal for Boeing, and isn’t something that’s going to be resolved in the coming days, and which Boeing will quickly recover from.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the jet grounded for an extended period of time, and for this to lead to delays when it comes to the certification of other Boeing jets.

United also flies Boeing 737 MAX 9s

Bottom line

The Boeing 737 MAX is making headlines again for all the wrong reasons. A deactivated emergency exit blew out on a jet inflight, leading the FAA to temporarily ground these planes. Now it has been discovered that several other planes had loose screws at the exit too, and that Boeing also hasn’t been sharing all correct procedures with regulators and airlines.

I’m very curious to see how all of this plays out. Regulators have an incentive to be exceptionally cautious here, and that could have major implications for Boeing and airlines, not just for the 737 MAX 9, but also for the certification of the 737 MAX 10 and 777X.

I’d say I’m disappointed in Boeing, but it’s not 2018 anymore, so there’s not much respect left to lose…

How do you see this situation playing out for the Boeing 737 MAX?

Conversations (130)
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  1. miller howard Guest

    Boeing has clients that want more seats and require another exit.
    And they have clients that have less seats and do not need that exit row and door.
    Spirit should make 2 difference fuselage.
    is the problem on max 10 coming?

  2. Srini R Guest

    it feels like there's definitely some collusion between Boeing and Alaska considering how gung-ho Alaska was to buy Boeing 737 Max's even just after the accident had occurred.

    Their whole reaction to the max 8 problems was very tone deaf and they were so eager to get rid of the airbus planes they had. they plunged headfirst into acquiring the max aircraft... throwing caution to the wind.

    Airlines should be aircraft agnostic and pick the...

    it feels like there's definitely some collusion between Boeing and Alaska considering how gung-ho Alaska was to buy Boeing 737 Max's even just after the accident had occurred.

    Their whole reaction to the max 8 problems was very tone deaf and they were so eager to get rid of the airbus planes they had. they plunged headfirst into acquiring the max aircraft... throwing caution to the wind.

    Airlines should be aircraft agnostic and pick the best ones and have a mix even if it means it may get more expensive. Unfortunately Alaska management were total fan boys.

  3. Nick Guest

    The recent aviation accidents really tell us well the reason why you should fasted the seat belt whenever you're seated. I feel bad for the people who un-fastens their seat belts as soon as the seat belt indicator turns off. An iPhone may be strong enough to operate after falling out of the plane at 16,000 ft, but a human body isn't.

  4. FlyerDon Guest

    I understand the reasons for fleet simplification but I wonder if anyone at Alaska now regrets getting rid of their Airbus fleet and going all 737.

  5. Chris Guest

    There has never in history be a better time to work for Airbus of Embraer. The world does no need aircraft built by Boeing. Boeing seems hell-bend to continually shoot themselves in the foot. It is pure corporate suicide, nothing else. I for one will be happy to see the back of them. Terrible, terrible company. They will never be able to blame someone else for all these problems, like they did when they tried...

    There has never in history be a better time to work for Airbus of Embraer. The world does no need aircraft built by Boeing. Boeing seems hell-bend to continually shoot themselves in the foot. It is pure corporate suicide, nothing else. I for one will be happy to see the back of them. Terrible, terrible company. They will never be able to blame someone else for all these problems, like they did when they tried to blame the pilots for the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines tragedies.

  6. Henry Young Guest

    When Boeing started murdering people with the ill-conceived 737 MAX (fitting large engines to a legacy airframe with low ground clearance making it inherently unbalanced relative to the original small engine design), initially due to the MCAS bodge, I pledged never to fly on a 737 MAX or on any airline that used them. Seems my decision is confirmed. I wonder if seatguru.com will start flagging the ejection row so that people can avoid it...

    When Boeing started murdering people with the ill-conceived 737 MAX (fitting large engines to a legacy airframe with low ground clearance making it inherently unbalanced relative to the original small engine design), initially due to the MCAS bodge, I pledged never to fly on a 737 MAX or on any airline that used them. Seems my decision is confirmed. I wonder if seatguru.com will start flagging the ejection row so that people can avoid it - "You may find this seat troublesome due to it's propensity for spontaneous ejection" ? In better news, a recent victim did manage to track down their iPhone that had fallen to the ground in a recent spontaneous ejection event. Always wear your seatbelt seems even better advice now !!!

  7. brad Guest

    Apparently Spirt inspectors were trying to make upper management aware of the poor manufacturing quality and were ignored. This seems like this problem only scratches the surface of potential issues with the Max.

  8. Christoph Thomas Guest

    so row 26 was it ? Jeez what an terrible experience this must have been ...

  9. Aussie Guest

    Despite the scrutiny of Boeing suffering two fatal crashes arising from borings own negligence, they STILL are finding “mistakes” on that plane?

    Haha. What a joke. Trash American company.

    What excuses will the Boeing nutjob fanboys come up with now?

    If it’s Boeing everybody ain’t going!

  10. Wanttoknow Guest

    I wonder why those two seats near the door where empty. I read that there where only seven empty seats on the plane.

    Where those seats blocked off because Alaska knew that there was a issue with the door?

    Alaska did not let that plane fly over water. They had pressurization warnings with the plane before the accident as we know.

    1. Matt Guest

      It's so strange that a window seat next to an empty middle seat would be empty on such a full flight. You would think that the 7 empty seats would be scattered middle seats.

  11. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Whoopsie.

    Workers at Boeing Subcontractor Told to Falsify Records, New Investigation Finds

    https://truthout.org/video/workers-at-boeing-subcontractor-told-to-falsify-records-new-investigation-finds/

  12. Reed Guest

    Delta Airlines please cancel your order for 100 Max Jets now !!

    1. Matt Guest

      I'd like to know how cheap they got those. Probably very.

  13. Rekha Guest

    Boeing higher ups are busy popping pills.Boeing is corrupt.

  14. iamhere Guest

    I wonder if more people would consider the aircraft used when booking flights

    1. Steve Diamond

      They dont, planes are full people choose based on times and price. People in our points and aviation community who actually look at the plane type make up such a small insignificant number the airlines dont care. On a regular plane full of 150 passengars maybe 1 or 2 know about the metal they are flying or even care about it, the rest just want to pay the lowest price to get from A to B.

  15. Ella Guest

    I thought the FAA was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing. Has something changed?

  16. ARN_SEA New Member

    Curious why the Icelandair Max 9's aren't affected by the grounding? They stated they don't have the door plug that United/Alaska have. But it also seems they don't have an emergency exit at that row. I know they've been using that on the KEF-SEA route.

    1. mt_xing Member

      I don't know about Iceland Air in particular but Boeing sells a lot of options for that door position. A plug is one option, and having a working exit is of course another, but there's also a deactivated exit option (not a plug; exit hardware is there but deactivated and covered by a wall). Perhaps that's what Iceland Air has?

    2. Robert Guest

      Looks like it's now a 757 and 7M8. Also, despite flying it to US soil, Icelandair is probably under the jurisdiction of an Icelandic Aviation Regulator, not the FAA.

    3. ARN_SEA New Member

      Yeah, I'm expecting my flight in a couple weeks will be on a 752. Guessing they don't want to risk having their 739 stuck in the U.S.!
      Assume they do have the 'deactivated' emergency exit.

  17. Dander Guest

    There is a quality issue at spirit. These bolts are easy to check if they are properly torqued. This is a union shop so good luck firing the moron that is responsible

    1. Matt Guest

      Even if spirit puts these in, it's strange Boeing doesn't have a procedure to check this during assembly.

  18. Ivan X Gold

    Where the fuck is Tim Dunn to tell us how smart Delta was to not buy that plane? Because he might have a point.

    1. JW Guest

      Though Delta is ordering the 737 MAX 10…

  19. ZD Guest

    Didn't Boeing just asked the FAA for exemptions on the certification of the B737-7 on some issues that they are not able to fix right now? This latest incident should be taken into consideration and result in no certification exceptions for either the 737-X or 777-X aircrafts.

  20. Marcus Guest

    When HQ and management is in DC busy with lobbyists whilst actual manufacturing is done in Seattle with lots of outsourcing yes this is to be expected. I fully expect Boeing to need a federal bailout sometime in the next ten years

  21. FFS Guest

    Who let the dogs out?
    Crucifying Boeing at this stage is both premature and extremely short sighted.
    Let the investigation conclude, and the appropriate blame be laid at the feet of those responsible by the remarkable efforts of one of the world's leading technical investigation entities, the NTSB. They always land on the facts, and during their approach, nothing is off the table.

    Wouldn't it be something if the two airlines (Alaskan and...

    Who let the dogs out?
    Crucifying Boeing at this stage is both premature and extremely short sighted.
    Let the investigation conclude, and the appropriate blame be laid at the feet of those responsible by the remarkable efforts of one of the world's leading technical investigation entities, the NTSB. They always land on the facts, and during their approach, nothing is off the table.

    Wouldn't it be something if the two airlines (Alaskan and United) finding related issues/similarities were indeed a contributor due to shortfall of their own maintenance practices, and the event occurred because of that?
    Recall Alaskan Flight 261, (airline maintenance at fault) and;
    United Flight 328, (inadequate maintenance inspections to detect metal fatigue).

    1. Greg Guest

      All good examples, as well as pmUA 191 the DC-10 crash landing in Sioux City that involved similar maintenance oversight issues.

      And where is the outcry over the Airbus A350 in the Tokyo fire with non functioning PA and intercom?

      Hundreds were close to perishing, and it's possible the system was intended to operate in such a scenario, and its failure contributed to evacuation delays.

      With all of them the full investigation process...

      All good examples, as well as pmUA 191 the DC-10 crash landing in Sioux City that involved similar maintenance oversight issues.

      And where is the outcry over the Airbus A350 in the Tokyo fire with non functioning PA and intercom?

      Hundreds were close to perishing, and it's possible the system was intended to operate in such a scenario, and its failure contributed to evacuation delays.

      With all of them the full investigation process will uncover the truth by considering many possibilities. And it may well be multiple factors in play .

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      All good examples, as well as pmUA 191 the DC-10 crash landing in Sioux City that involved similar maintenance oversight issues.

      You're conflating AA191 (ORD crash due to flawed maintenance procedures) with UA232 (SUX crash due to manufacturing flaw in engines), and confusing the reasons as well....

      And where is the outcry over the Airbus A350 in the Tokyo fire with non functioning PA and intercom?

      We haven't yet been given a reason WHY...

      All good examples, as well as pmUA 191 the DC-10 crash landing in Sioux City that involved similar maintenance oversight issues.

      You're conflating AA191 (ORD crash due to flawed maintenance procedures) with UA232 (SUX crash due to manufacturing flaw in engines), and confusing the reasons as well....

      And where is the outcry over the Airbus A350 in the Tokyo fire with non functioning PA and intercom?

      We haven't yet been given a reason WHY or WHEN it wasn't working, all we know is THAT it wasn't working-- while on fire, after a collision with another aircraft.

      Thus, why at this point would there be an outcry?

    3. Hehe Guest

      What about the fact that "Unfortunately this isn’t the only issue for Boeing. As it turns out, during the rapid decompression, the Boeing 737 MAX 9’s cockpit door opened. That’s actually intentional, and I can understand the logic for that. There’s only one small problem — the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as well as pilots weren’t aware of this “feature.”

      Given that even the NTSB (so it can't just be airlines' fault now) was...

      What about the fact that "Unfortunately this isn’t the only issue for Boeing. As it turns out, during the rapid decompression, the Boeing 737 MAX 9’s cockpit door opened. That’s actually intentional, and I can understand the logic for that. There’s only one small problem — the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as well as pilots weren’t aware of this “feature.”

      Given that even the NTSB (so it can't just be airlines' fault now) was not made aware of this "feature", I'd say that's fully on Boeing. Imaging hijackers knew this information, but pilots and homeland security isn't aware to set relevant safeguards. A hijacker can now (relative to other ways to force that door open) "easily" open the cockpit door by blowing out part of the fuselage during take off to gain access to the cockpit and repeat 9/11.

    4. Matt Guest

      The fact that two airlines found loose bolts on other aircraft is a perfect reason to crucify Boeing. United alone found 5 aircraft with loose hardware. That's on top of a missing nut on a rudder actuator causing another batch of inspections. Properly torquing fasteners isn't exactly a new concept in the world of aerospace where there are supposed to be multiple redundant checks for the proper torque of fasteners.

  22. chasgoose Guest

    Who knew that Boeing spinning off Spirit Aero so they could cut costs and pay workers less than they pay in Seattle would lead to QC issues? Spirit Aero has been a mess for awhile even requiring Boeing to step in and shore them up as recently as last October. Is anyone really surprised that they would also be putting out shoddy products?

    Boeing needs to learn that there are only so many costs...

    Who knew that Boeing spinning off Spirit Aero so they could cut costs and pay workers less than they pay in Seattle would lead to QC issues? Spirit Aero has been a mess for awhile even requiring Boeing to step in and shore them up as recently as last October. Is anyone really surprised that they would also be putting out shoddy products?

    Boeing needs to learn that there are only so many costs they can cut and still reliably make safe airplanes. You would think that the deaths of hundreds with the MCAS debacle would have taught them that, but here we are again.

    1. Jeffrey Scania Ng Guest

      A Boeing is to Airbus what GM/Ford/Chrysler is to Audi/BMW/Mercedes.

    2. Ivan X Gold

      @Jeffrey Deep and nuanced analysis. Thank you!

  23. Nick Guest

    Boeing has been keeping its roughly 70-year-old airframe design (from the 707) with only minor changes. If they really want their planes to compete against Airbus' more up-to-date A320 series (though it's old as well, almost 40yo), they should start building a clean-sheet narrow-body aircraft.

    But we know what happened to the Boeing's most recent clean-sheet aircraft (787) or an updated variant (737 MAX and 777X)... seems like Boeing has only got a not...

    Boeing has been keeping its roughly 70-year-old airframe design (from the 707) with only minor changes. If they really want their planes to compete against Airbus' more up-to-date A320 series (though it's old as well, almost 40yo), they should start building a clean-sheet narrow-body aircraft.

    But we know what happened to the Boeing's most recent clean-sheet aircraft (787) or an updated variant (737 MAX and 777X)... seems like Boeing has only got a not so bright future. Truly sad as a long-time Boeing fan - but they had it coming to be honest.

    I hate saying this kind of stuff, but they should've let McDonnell Douglas collapse. Possibly the worst decisions in the whole history of aviation industry - it literally did nothing good for Boeing. 717 failed, and MD-11 was already failing even before the merger, and Boeing only gained the managerial problems of McDonnell Douglas. Maybe their fighter jets sold well? Or former McDonnell Douglas employees were saved from laying down on the streets?

    I see this as the last chance of Boeing. If they can't solve this problem well, then I guess it's the end for them. Worrying about the costs would only be useful if they can survive.

    1. fergus Guest

      I am an Airbus fan, but it’s obviously essential that Boeing survives these crises, and survives well. It would not serve anyone to have only one main aircraft manufacturer. The moment the Airbus A320 went into service (1988) the writing was on the wall for the 737, and Boeing has had DECADES to design something that could take on and surpass it. Instead they chose to keep tarting up the 737 to the point the...

      I am an Airbus fan, but it’s obviously essential that Boeing survives these crises, and survives well. It would not serve anyone to have only one main aircraft manufacturer. The moment the Airbus A320 went into service (1988) the writing was on the wall for the 737, and Boeing has had DECADES to design something that could take on and surpass it. Instead they chose to keep tarting up the 737 to the point the latest Max iteration is nothing short of a lot of (cheap) lipstick slathered on a pig.

      I have never liked flying the 737 - narrow, tight and noisy and just simply uncomfortable. Loved the 747 of course, wonderful aircraft. But I agree with Nick, the McDonnell Douglas acquisition did no one any favours, MD should have been allowed to go away and maybe Boeing could have hired all the best MD engineers, and not the managerial & financial dingbats that eventually infected the parent company.

    2. jcil Guest

      Agree with both the above comments. My view (unfortunately) is that Boeing currently lacks the engineering and project management chops to design a clean sheet aircraft. Hopefully, they can get their mojo back, but I can see them deciding to milk their existing designs for the next 10 - 20 years, and then make a move to a 100% defense contractor like Locheed did. Their management is much more comfortable with government cost+ contracts and...

      Agree with both the above comments. My view (unfortunately) is that Boeing currently lacks the engineering and project management chops to design a clean sheet aircraft. Hopefully, they can get their mojo back, but I can see them deciding to milk their existing designs for the next 10 - 20 years, and then make a move to a 100% defense contractor like Locheed did. Their management is much more comfortable with government cost+ contracts and the ability to constantly delay delivery dates without any financial penalty.

      My other thought is that the larger airlines (Southwest) have a supporting role in this fiasco in that they continually ask for a "tarted up" 737. At some point they are going to have to change their business model away from a 100% 737 fleet.

    3. Matt Guest

      Boeing did buy Mcdonell Douglas because of their military aircraft. I don't even think that decision was a mistake. The absolute absurdity of that was all the MDD management that they allowed to takeover the new Boeing company. Since they were buying out a failing competitor, that management should have been sent packing. Now Boeing is facing all the same pitfalls of that same management.

  24. Don Guest

    There are a number and variety of incidents with Boeing products to believe there is a systems wide failure, from engineering, to production and assembly , and especially quality control.

    Boeing needs to shut down and hire outside consultants to examine their engineering, assembly, and quality control processes before any of their products leave their facilities. I would not trust the individuals who have designed the current methods for this review. This review should go...

    There are a number and variety of incidents with Boeing products to believe there is a systems wide failure, from engineering, to production and assembly , and especially quality control.

    Boeing needs to shut down and hire outside consultants to examine their engineering, assembly, and quality control processes before any of their products leave their facilities. I would not trust the individuals who have designed the current methods for this review. This review should go to the FAA and be made public. Boeing would then commence production after having made public what has been done to address these issues. Including replacement of upper management.

  25. vlcnc Guest

    The US government is basically practicing dangerous protectionism by letting Boeing get away with major safety failures. It's been years and the fact they let Boeing have immunity from prosecution by paying 2.5 Billion dollars after they murdered 348 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia, shows how rotten both the enterprise of Boeing and the government hand in hand are. This plane should be banned, it's a danger to people and other countries should remove their...

    The US government is basically practicing dangerous protectionism by letting Boeing get away with major safety failures. It's been years and the fact they let Boeing have immunity from prosecution by paying 2.5 Billion dollars after they murdered 348 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia, shows how rotten both the enterprise of Boeing and the government hand in hand are. This plane should be banned, it's a danger to people and other countries should remove their safety approval from it so it can't fly.

    1. TBond Guest

      Murder requires intent. I'm pretty sure Boeing did not intend for those planes to crash.

    2. vlcnc Guest

      Manslaughter then if we're being accurate.

  26. Mike Guest

    The cockpit door automatically opening during depressurization is not a Boeing thing, it also happens on Airbus: https://twitter.com/JTTsteve/status/1744697130952831077

    1. Klaus_S New Member

      You missed the point.
      The point is: The pilots did not know that the cockpit door would open as Boeing kept it as a secret.

  27. Pakmann2k Guest

    Without getting into the nuts and bolts of what happened, pardon the pun, I think Boeing needs to consider rebranding the series name. Not everyone follows aviation like probably most people reading this, but the general public keeps getting reminded of the "Maxx" name as nothing but good. 99% of the world has no idea what a NEO is, nor care, but bring up the Boeing maxx and there is nothing but negative thoughts. I...

    Without getting into the nuts and bolts of what happened, pardon the pun, I think Boeing needs to consider rebranding the series name. Not everyone follows aviation like probably most people reading this, but the general public keeps getting reminded of the "Maxx" name as nothing but good. 99% of the world has no idea what a NEO is, nor care, but bring up the Boeing maxx and there is nothing but negative thoughts. I think it is time to scrap the name and rebrand it as something new and positive, 737X, 9SP, whatever, no more maxx.

  28. mpetry912 Guest

    I realize the problem is unrelated to the earlier MCAS problem, but the root cause common to both is that the 737 basid design is over 50 years old and both of these issues relate to what has been done to keep the aircraft competitive in today's market. Boeing decided in 2012 not to build a new "clean sheet" single aisle aircraft, largely to avoid having to capitalize thedevelopement. But the Max issue cost them 20 billion, and now this.

  29. D3kingg Guest

    I think it will be over exaggeration at some point because it becomes political . Any news distractions are welcome because Biden is so far behind in the polls that President Trump will win by a landslide. Even politics aside if there is a fear of flying or god forbid worse it would play into the hands of the green deal environmentalists. Ban flying.

    1. Pakmann2k Guest

      I can't help but think how funny it will be if Trump does win and then heads back to Boeing asking where his new jet is? How's that budget working for you folks? Btw, let's go ahead and change the paint scheme back to "my" original plan. lol

    2. BradStPete Diamond

      I cannot believe you actually spoke this incredible BS. Wow !

    3. Sam Rao Guest

      Idiotic comment..trump will never win.. most people don't want a dictator or an insurrectionist supported by racist imbeciles. Most of the votes for Biden will be an anti trump vote and a vote to preserve democracy.

  30. Andy Guest

    Why is the CEO of Boeing never held accountable for the company's problems. They should have been fired a long time ago.

    Why is Alaska Airlines not being held accountable for flying a jet with a known pressurization warning light, (three times). I am a loyal Alaska flyer and no longer trust the company to do the right thing.

    1. mpetry912 Guest

      yes, that IS the question. Maintenance signed it off as "suspected wiring issue" and let it fly. Terrible.

    2. LloydsDad New Member

      By no means do I trust Boeing at this point (I don't think many do) but I agree about the responsibility of Alaska. They actually made the choice to not fly this particular plane over water for long periods of time because of these warnings, yet still flew the plane? You'd think if you get the warning, reset the system, then get the warning again --- this would indicate something was wrong and that you hadn't yet found the issue.

    3. Matt Guest

      According to the documentation from Boeing including the MEL, the aircraft is allowed to fly with that warning coming on. No idea if it's true, but I guess even ETOPS operations would still be allowed. Alaska actually decided on caution when choosing to not allow ETOPS operations of this aircraft.

      The one strange thing is that out of only 7 empty seats on the flight, the window seat next to the plug was one...

      According to the documentation from Boeing including the MEL, the aircraft is allowed to fly with that warning coming on. No idea if it's true, but I guess even ETOPS operations would still be allowed. Alaska actually decided on caution when choosing to not allow ETOPS operations of this aircraft.

      The one strange thing is that out of only 7 empty seats on the flight, the window seat next to the plug was one of those. Especially since the middle seat was also empty. There is something a bit unlikely that nobody seated in middle seats took out their phones, opened their Alaska app and changed their seat to that window seat. Obviously it could just be that someone missed the flight that was already checked in for that seat.

  31. Alex Guest

    If the bolts on the plugged door can be loose or missing, why aren't we questioning why any of the other bolts on the plane couldn't be loose or missing? Inspecting that one part of the plane seems like an underreaction to this problem.

    We're also going to see this more and more in the United States. The accountants and MBAs have gained control of most large companies and have slashed investment in their core...

    If the bolts on the plugged door can be loose or missing, why aren't we questioning why any of the other bolts on the plane couldn't be loose or missing? Inspecting that one part of the plane seems like an underreaction to this problem.

    We're also going to see this more and more in the United States. The accountants and MBAs have gained control of most large companies and have slashed investment in their core competencies in exchange for short term profit. This is the consequence.

    1. Charles Guest

      Yep. We're getting to the point where airlines should almost be performing a D-check on delivery. Yet another argument to keep MBAs as far away from C-suites as possible.

  32. james Guest

    It is corrupt Boeing. Their merger that got rid of engineers is the problem. And they recently requested exemptions from quality control. They dont care about safety only profit. Boeing is a criminal organization.

    1. jedipenguin Guest

      US airlines should consider looking at the Chinese built CS919-can't be any worse than anything Boeing builds

  33. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Methinks the MAX 7 and 10 plus the 777X will be even more delayed.

  34. BuiltInYorkshire Guest

    Bits
    Of
    Exit
    In
    Numerous
    Gardens

  35. Peter Guest

    Now we know Why Boeing employees only fly Airbus.

  36. Greg Guest

    Get a grip Airbus fanboys who have no understanding of the history of this aircraft. Lucky you are better than this blanket Boeing hysteria.

    Here's are some facts to ponder....

    The investigators say all the bolts were missing. While it's possible they fell off in the fall, it's possible they weren't there altogether.

    The aircraft went in for wifi dome installation at AAL in Tulsa (no relation to Boeing), leaving there December 7.

    That's...

    Get a grip Airbus fanboys who have no understanding of the history of this aircraft. Lucky you are better than this blanket Boeing hysteria.

    Here's are some facts to ponder....

    The investigators say all the bolts were missing. While it's possible they fell off in the fall, it's possible they weren't there altogether.

    The aircraft went in for wifi dome installation at AAL in Tulsa (no relation to Boeing), leaving there December 7.

    That's also when the pressurization warning first appeared.

    AAL workers have been known to open the mid cabin plug to allow easier access to the dome installation point.

    Is it possible AAL workers didn't properly reattach the plug?

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      So did all the other AS and UA aircraft have the same service done there?

    2. Greg Guest

      Where is it reported other AS / UA aircraft were missing all bolts for the hatch?

      I have only seen reports of "loose hardware" from AS and bolts that "needed tightening" from UA.

      The possibility is on the table that it was missing bolts altogether that caused the issue.

      From the NTSB...

      " "In this situation, the fittings at the top of the door plug fractured," Homendy said. "We don't know if...

      Where is it reported other AS / UA aircraft were missing all bolts for the hatch?

      I have only seen reports of "loose hardware" from AS and bolts that "needed tightening" from UA.

      The possibility is on the table that it was missing bolts altogether that caused the issue.

      From the NTSB...

      " "In this situation, the fittings at the top of the door plug fractured," Homendy said. "We don't know if the bolts were loose. We don't know if bolts were in there fractured or possibly the bolts weren't there at all."

      Have no direct holding of Boeing, AS, UA shares or debt. Simply providing information missing in the hysteria, which has prosecuted Boeing as the sole culprit while other possibilities exist.

    3. FlyerDon Guest

      Just to be clear Tim, Mr Greg doesn’t know what he is talking about. American doesn’t do their own WiFi work and they sure don’t do Alaska’s. A company called AAR, did WiFi work on this aircraft in OKC. AAR has already put out a press release acknowledging they did work on the aircraft and stating they did not do any work involving or near the door plug in question.

    4. james Guest

      Asinine reasoning. Stop talking if you have nothing substantive to say! Yes, airbus does not have these problems. Get a life!

    5. Peter Guest

      If fanboy means a preference for non convertible aircrafs, count me in.

    6. Greg Guest

      The A350 that caught fire in Tokyo had an PA and intercom system that failed at the outset.

      It is possible the investigation finds the intercom was intedned to withstand an event like this, and its failure contributed to delays evacuating the aircraft.

      Hundreds were close to death.

    7. Matt Guest

      Comparing loose fasteners from assembly and a system failing after a collision and fire is pretty rich. There might be engineering lessons for the A350, but it's not exactly rocket surgery to state that fasteners should be torqued properly and redundantly checked. There's no logical comparison, and being that blinded by clear malfeasance from an entity you blindly support is troubling.

    8. Jeffrey Scania Ng Guest

      Get a grip Boeing fanboy who has no understanding of the difference between causation and correlation.

    9. FlyerDon Guest

      You should pass your insider information on to the NTSB. Sounds like grounding all those aircraft was a mistake.

  37. frrp Diamond

    It doesnt matter what boeing do, what BS they tell, the FAA arent gonna do anything.

    If it was the non-US owned airbus theyd be throwing out fines if there was a bit of paint missing.

  38. IrishAlan Diamond

    It’s interesting. Even though I’m a very frequent flyer, I’ve never flown on any MAX variant despite not actively seeking to avoid them. I lived in DEN until late 2020 at which point UA and WN didn’t have a lot of them. Then I moved to CLT where dominant AA doesn’t have many of theirs operate. The one flight I had booked on an AC max I had to cancel due to a positive COVID...

    It’s interesting. Even though I’m a very frequent flyer, I’ve never flown on any MAX variant despite not actively seeking to avoid them. I lived in DEN until late 2020 at which point UA and WN didn’t have a lot of them. Then I moved to CLT where dominant AA doesn’t have many of theirs operate. The one flight I had booked on an AC max I had to cancel due to a positive COVID test back when testing for entry to Canada was a thing, and a recent WN flight from MDW-CLT was supposed to be on a MAX-8 but there was a last minute swap to an older 738.

    I’m curious how long I’ll go without flying on a MAX aircraft even if I don’t make an active effort to avoid them?

  39. TravelCat2 Gold

    Some reports state that a number of oxygen masks failed to function properly. At least in some cases that might have been caused by the rapid depressurization. Unfortunately, those masks are most needed when there is a depressurization. This failure should be investigated too.

    1. Charles Guest

      The NTSB confirmed this is not the case. Some passengers replaced the masks back into the compartment after use. All masks deployed properly.

  40. Michael_FFM Diamond

    Well, these are the known issues. But every day in the 737 Max program can offer new creative ways to kill passengers.

  41. KG Guest

    Wait I thought you were tighting the bolts! Seriously between the plug door and the rudder issue it makes you wonder what else was not tightened or installed properly. Boeing has some serious issues and I think this just may be the tip of the iceberg.

  42. AdamH Guest

    Didn’t the 77x have compression issues that Boeing tried to have the FAA sweep under the rug and essentially change the regulation for?

  43. GBSanDiego Guest

    I have already seen articles such as:

    ‘Is Cutting Corners Boeing’s Top Priority?’

    ‘Safety Clearly Not the Top Priority’

    ‘If safety was the top priority, the Boeing Max would not exist at all.’

    And I agree!!

  44. Lars Guest

    This reflects poorly on Alaska Airlines as well. They were routinely getting cabin pressurization warnings, and instead of taking the bird out of service and getting to the bottom of the issue, they restricted it from ETOPS flying so it could make it back to the ground quickly if something happened.

    I don't know about you, but I don't want to be on an ETOPS certified plane that the airline doesn't trust enough to fly ETOPS routes.

  45. aintgoing Guest

    You are missing how Boeing seeks a gross safety exception for the MAX 7. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-wants-faa-to-exempt-max-7-from-safety-rules-to-get-it-in-the-air/

    1. TravelCat2 Gold

      The FAA should send that request back to Boeing ASAP with a big red "REJECTED" stamped on it.

  46. Alonzo Diamond

    Boeing planes fly millions of people around the world daily. I'd hate to be in their shoes. They can't win.

    1. John Guest

      “ Federal investigators said late Monday that it was possible that the bolts that were supposed to keep a fuselage panel in place were never installed before the panel blew off an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 in a near-disastrous accident on Friday night.”

      They can win by making sure the bolts that hold the door plug on are actually installed.

    2. Alonzo Diamond

      It was a simple fix, I get it. When you build thousands of planes, shit happens. Idk why people can't understand the difficulty of the position that Boeing and Airbus are constantly in.

    3. james Guest

      You must in in Boeing's pockets! Making excuses for them. Yeah, this routinely happens with other airplanes all the time! It is corrupt Boeing. Their merger that got rid of engineers is the problem. And they recently requested exemptions from quality control. They dont care about safety only profit. Boeing is a criminal organization.

    4. Charles Guest

      Shit like this did not happen to Boeing planes when the engineers had a significant seat at the decision-making table. Shit like this only started to happen when the MBAs took over the company and started chasing quarterly profits. Boeing is, like many US public corporations today, primarily interested in inflating it's stock value each quarter.

      You can do that by cheaping out on labor, parts and design. It works for awhile until customers...

      Shit like this did not happen to Boeing planes when the engineers had a significant seat at the decision-making table. Shit like this only started to happen when the MBAs took over the company and started chasing quarterly profits. Boeing is, like many US public corporations today, primarily interested in inflating it's stock value each quarter.

      You can do that by cheaping out on labor, parts and design. It works for awhile until customers get wise to the fact that you're selling crap now, and then the stock price tanks while the CEO takes a 9-figure early separation payment and goes off to ruin some other company.

      General Motors pulled the same stunt and went bankrupt. The main question now is, will the government bail Boeing out when the inevitable happens?

  47. A Person Guest

    I hope you'll continue to cover what feels like an inadequate response from AS on this. The current waiver only covers flights up to seven days from now when I feel like it should extend at least until the end of the month. I don't have any faith these 7M9s will be back in the sky in a week and even if they were, it seems reasonable that a portion of the flying public would prefer to fly on a different aircraft type.

    1. Trey Guest

      Now you see what a contrast JAL is in their response (regarding ticket flexibility) to an incident that was clearly not their fault.

  48. A220HubandSpoke New Member

    The MAX is the DC-10 of out time.

    Give it another decade and the plane will somehow lead to the crash of an A380

    1. Mary Guest

      Exactly what I was thinking as I’ve been watching old episodes of Mayday.

  49. Fly Guy Guest

    “Regulators are incentivized to err on the side of caution” hahahahahahaha have the past few years not taught you anything? Regulators are incentivized to do what is best for their post-public sector careers

    1. pstm91 Diamond

      He's saying that precisely because of what happened the past few years and how badly it all looked for the FAA.

    2. vlcnc Guest

      Exactly. A lot of people need to watch Downlfall on Netflix and also the Al Jazeera documentary on the Dreamliner. You literally had the guy responsible for approving planes back into the sky Ali Bahrami do that for Boeing multiple times then leave that job to go work for aviation sector lobying org that represents Boeing. This guy even went to congress and said he wanted more "self-regulation" for the industry. It is all so rotten and corrupt honestly!

  50. MildMidwesterner Diamond

    One aspect of the investigation really stuck out to me. Investigators discovered that a bolt hitting solid ground after falling 16,000 feet makes the sound "Boeiiiinnnnnggggg!"

    1. Woodrow Gold

      This...you win the internet today!

  51. Ivan Guest

    Thank god this did not happened at 35K feet the explosion would have been much worse.

  52. Charles Guest

    I don’t think it’s fair to say Alaska and United are finding “similar issues”, in the sense that something like the Alaska incident would happen again. If you understand how the door plugs work, even if hardware is “loose”, it would still not be very feasible for the plug to literally be removed from the aircraft in the manner we saw on the Alaska flight. The bolts restrict vertical movement of the plug, which is...

    I don’t think it’s fair to say Alaska and United are finding “similar issues”, in the sense that something like the Alaska incident would happen again. If you understand how the door plugs work, even if hardware is “loose”, it would still not be very feasible for the plug to literally be removed from the aircraft in the manner we saw on the Alaska flight. The bolts restrict vertical movement of the plug, which is required for the plug to clear the stop pads on the aircraft frame in order for it to be released. Loose bolts may cause rattles or possibly a pressurization issue, but as long as all hardware was present (cotter pins, etc), a loose bolt wouldn’t be enough for this to happen again.

    Secondly, it’s not fair to say the prior warnings were mostly ignored. That’s simply not true. The checklists were completed and the the sensors reset, which I imagine was what the maintenance manual demand. Above this, Alaska also relieved the aircraft from ETOPS flying. That’s not “mostly ignored”.

    We’ll have to see once the door plug is transported and inspected in Washington to see if there was a failure with the guide tracks in the plug, or if the securing bolts and associated hardware were simply not even installed.

    1. John Guest

      The NTSB is saying it’s possible the bolts weren’t even installed.

    2. James Guest

      Everyone knows they throw some extra nuts and bolts in the box just in case. It's perfectly normal to have some extras laying around after assembly!

    3. ScottS Member

      You sound like an engineer :). I'd agree that they were likely following an approved maintenance manual and checklists and didn't do anything that wasn't approved deferred maintenance.

      My guess has been improper bolts/fasteners were used, either too short or wrong spec. Something of that nature. We'll see how it plays out.

    4. Jm Guest

      “It’s anyone’s guess how that plays out, given that the same issue has been found on other aircraft.”

      How do you know its the same issue? If there are loose bolts on a plane…is that the same as a plane that had NO bolts? Or if it was disturbed by wifi installation?

      All the online armchair NTSB investigators need to put their caps aside and wait for the real investigation to proceed.

    5. Jm Guest

      Sorry, was quoting Ben, not the well-reasoned post by Charles

    6. Greg Guest

      Indeed, so much hysteria from fanboys

  53. Pat Guest

    This brings Boeing's entire QA/QC program into question. Every bolt on every recently-built plane is now questionable.

    1. Tony Guest

      Yes, I'd avoid flying on any recently-built Boeing planes.

    2. ScottS Member

      To be fair, I'd go as far to say not just any recently built plane, but planes built for the last decade that's not a 777 classic or 767.

    3. jedipenguin Guest

      Stay away from all Boeing aircraft. I only fly Frontier because it all Airbus. Crappy airline yes and my destinations are limited but I'd rather be safe than sorry

  54. Grey Diamond

    Also there was the issue in late December where there was a problem with the rudders on the Max. That was quickly overshadowed by this issue, but still would be interested to hear about how that progresses.

    I know you have previously said that you would feel totally comfortable flying the Max because it is now amongst the most scrutinised aircraft types in history, but the fact that there are still issues after all...

    Also there was the issue in late December where there was a problem with the rudders on the Max. That was quickly overshadowed by this issue, but still would be interested to hear about how that progresses.

    I know you have previously said that you would feel totally comfortable flying the Max because it is now amongst the most scrutinised aircraft types in history, but the fact that there are still issues after all of that, makes me hesitant to use any modern generation Boeing plane, as it seems neither Boeing nor the FAA actually inspect anything. I mean, these problems were found almost immediately once the airlines started looking. Why couldn't Boeing or the FAA find anything in several years?

  55. Marco Guest

    How can we be sure that MAX8 planes don't have the same problem?

    1. Nate nate Guest

      Because they don't have a plugged door. The max seating for the MAX 8 is 188 or 202, and 220 for the MAX 9.

      @Jason's question regarding the 737-900ER is a good one because it has the same setup as the MAX 9.

    2. Joao Guest

      well, the MAX 8 does not have that door in its fuselage. at least this same type of problem would not be possible in max 8

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The MAX8 *can* have that door, if it's in the -8200 configuration. Ryanair has them.

  56. Jason Guest

    What no one is talking about is all the 737-900ER flying around, some with the same type exit door plug, and no requirement to inspect???

    1. S Gold

      Probably because they've been flying for many more years all over the world for various airlines and there's been no instances, that I know, of this incident happening anywhere.

    2. Trey Guest

      There's gotta be a better reason than that; I don't think the reasoning, "we haven't heard any rattling for 5+
      years, so it must be good," is gonna fly these days, especially with the 737 program. Differences in plugs, fasteners, materials, supplier, air frame? Anyone can chime in?

    3. Roberto Ortiz-Puig Guest

      The check for the 900ER would have been done during regular c checks of those airplanes.

    4. Stan Guest

      YES! I agree that the 737-900ER also needs to be examined. On Dec. 9, I was on Delta Flight 853 from Anchorage to Seattle. After de-icing on the tarmac in Anchorage, and before taxiing to the runway, the pilot announced that there was a technical issue "that prevents us from flying over water" (exact words). Also, during the approximately 20 minute de-icing period, the cabin pressure kept changing, much more than is normal. I noticed...

      YES! I agree that the 737-900ER also needs to be examined. On Dec. 9, I was on Delta Flight 853 from Anchorage to Seattle. After de-icing on the tarmac in Anchorage, and before taxiing to the runway, the pilot announced that there was a technical issue "that prevents us from flying over water" (exact words). Also, during the approximately 20 minute de-icing period, the cabin pressure kept changing, much more than is normal. I noticed it because I had to keep clearing the pressure from my ears. It definitely wasn't normal. In hindsight, this seems to indicate some sort of cabin pressurization issue. Anyway, we had to return to the gate at the terminal and everyone had to get off the plane. We waited in the terminal for about an hour while they did whatever they did with the plane. We all then re-boarded and this time we were able to depart to Seattle. The plane I was on was a Delta 737-932(ER), tail number N864DN, delivered new to Delta in August 2016. And yes, that particular plane does have the left and right door plugs aft of the wings, just like the Alaska Airlines plane. I say all this because what I experienced on that flight seems to mirror the Alaska Airlines situation, except in my case the plane was a 737-932(ER), rather than a 737 Max 9. So yes, I think it would be prudent for the FAA and airlines to examine all other aircraft that have these types of door plugs.

  57. LEo Diamond

    Will alaska retire their Proudly all Boeing Slogan?

    1. Klaus_S New Member

      If it ain’t Boeing i am not going ;)

    2. Ed Guest

      Boeing planes are designed by engineers and Airbus planes are designed by pilots….Airbus is simply a better product. AS should have kept all the Airbus products it claimed in the Virgin America acquisition. Now comes the acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines where there are more. What will they do next……

    3. James C Guest

      If it is Boeing I ain't flying ;)

    4. ScottS Member

      They already have with their purchase of Hawaiian Airlines, don't they have A330s? I'm sure they'll stick around long enough for Alaska to figure out how to get rid of them.

    5. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      I really question the equity in that statement anymore:

      Boeing's screwed over Seattle (via cheapness, spite, a combo of the two) so many times over the last two decades; morale is in the toilet; and it's looking like Boeing may not have a bunch of spare fundage to sponsor things around town in the near-term.....

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

GBSanDiego Guest

I have already seen articles such as: ‘Is Cutting Corners Boeing’s Top Priority?’ ‘Safety Clearly Not the Top Priority’ ‘If safety was the top priority, the Boeing Max would not exist at all.’ And I agree!!

6
LEo Diamond

Will alaska retire their Proudly all Boeing Slogan?

5
vlcnc Guest

The US government is basically practicing dangerous protectionism by letting Boeing get away with major safety failures. It's been years and the fact they let Boeing have immunity from prosecution by paying 2.5 Billion dollars after they murdered 348 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia, shows how rotten both the enterprise of Boeing and the government hand in hand are. This plane should be banned, it's a danger to people and other countries should remove their safety approval from it so it can't fly.

3
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