FAA orders grounding of certain Boeing 737 Max 9 planes after Alaska Airlines incident

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered a grounding and immediate inspection of 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft worldwide, following a mid-flight emergency during an Alaska Airlines flight.

Incident details: An Alaska Airlines flight was forced to land abruptly in Portland, Oregon, after experiencing in-flight issues on Friday night.
* Alaska Airlines has grounded its Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft and initiated a fleet-wide inspection, with no concerning findings reported so far.
* The incident reportedly involved a window and a piece of fuselage breaking off midair, leaving a sizeable hole on the plane’s left side. There were no serious injuries or casualties.

Broad industry response: The grounding order and resultant inspections have had a ripple effect on airlines and aviation regulators worldwide.
* Alaska Airlines intends to return planes to service after inspections, expecting to complete the procedure for all 65 of its Boeing 737 Max 9s within days.
* Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, who do not carry Boeing 737 Max 9s, confirmed that they don’t have any concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 models they operate.
* India’s aviation regulator has ordered immediate inspections of all domestically operated Boeing Max 737 aircraft.

Troubled history of Boeing 737 Max: This incident comes in the wake of significant safety issues related to Boeing 737 Max planes.
* The Boeing Max aircraft was grounded globally in 2019 following two fatal crashes involving Max 8 jets.
* Boeing recently urged the FAA to inspect 737 Max jets for loose bolts, following the discovery of improperly tightened components on at least two planes.
* The company paid over $2.5 billion in 2021 to settle a criminal charge related to the fatal crashes.

Investigations unfolding: Both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the incident.
* Alaska Airlines is working with regulators and Boeing to identify the cause of this recent incident.
* The airline will release more information as it becomes available.
View original article on NPR
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