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United Finds Loose Bolts on 737 Max 9s After Panel Incident

2024.01.09

 

Key Takeaways

  • United Airlines identifies loose bolts in Boeing 737 Max 9s after a panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight.
  • The FAA grounds several 737 Max 9s for inspections; United and Boeing respond to safety concerns.

United’s Discovery and Response

United Airlines has reported finding loose bolts on several of its Boeing 737 Max 9 planes. This discovery came after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded numerous aircraft of this model due to a panel blowout incident during an Alaska Airlines flight. United, owning the largest fleet of Max 9 jets, initiated inspections and found bolts needing additional tightening, raising safety concerns. The airline, committed to safety, is addressing these issues through its technical operations team.

Boeing’s Quality Challenges

The recent incident adds to the growing scrutiny on Boeing, which has faced challenges in maintaining quality standards across its fleet. The company, under CEO Dave Calhoun, has been actively working to improve its supply chain and address quality concerns. In response to the incident, Boeing has issued guidelines for airlines to inspect their Max 9 aircraft. The company reaffirms its commitment to ensuring high safety and quality standards.

Impact on Alaska Airlines and Industry Response

The accident aboard the Alaska Airlines flight, which did not result in serious injuries, highlighted the potential risks of such malfunctions. The force of the panel blowout caused significant cabin disruption, a situation that could have been more severe at cruising altitude. Alaska Airlines, which operates over 60 737 Max 9s, is set to conduct inspections but has not yet reported any findings. The FAA has refrained from commenting on United’s discovery.

Boeing’s Ongoing Efforts and Market Position

Boeing’s 737 Max, particularly the Max 8 variant, remains the company’s best-selling aircraft, with thousands of orders pending. However, the recent grounding and inspections of the Max 9 model reflect Boeing’s continued efforts to navigate through its production and quality control challenges. CEO Calhoun is prioritizing internal communication and leadership engagement to address these issues effectively.

 


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