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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Alaska Airlines flight makes emergency landing after cabin panel detaches

Safety analysts noted the separation, and social media posts revealed a missing window and part of the side wall, with deployed oxygen masks.

Alaska Airlines has temporarily grounded its fleet of 65 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft following a cabin panel blowout during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. The jetliner, en route to Ontario, California, experienced the incident after takeoff and made an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon.

Photos suggested a panel used for a rear mid-cabin exit door had separated. The airline CEO, Ben Minicucci, stated that the fleet would return to service only after safety inspections, describing the move as a precautionary measure.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, headed for Ontario, California, experienced an incident shortly after takeoff at 5:06 p.m. Pacific Time. The plane safely landed back in Portland, Oregon, at 5:26 p.m. with 171 passengers and six crew members.

External images of the aircraft suggest a panel, potentially for a rear mid-cabin exit door, had detached.

“While this type of occurrence is rare, our flight crew was trained and prepared to safely manage the situation,” Alaska said.

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“At Alaska Airlines, safety is our foundational value and the most important thing we focus on every day. Following tonight's event on Flight 1282, we have decided to take the precautionary step of temporarily grounding our fleet of 65 Boeing MAX-9 aircraft. Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections.”

https://x.com/AlaskaAir/status/1743539149905215718?s=20

“We anticipate all inspections will be completed in the next few days. I am personally committed to doing everything we can to conduct this review in a timely and transparent way. We are working with Boeing and regulators to understand what occurred tonight, and will share updates as more information is available. The NTSB is investigating this event and we will fully support their investigation.”

“My heart goes out to those who were on this flight-I am so sorry for what you experienced. I am so grateful for the response of our pilots and flight attendants. We have teams on the ground in Portland assisting passengers and are working to support guests who are traveling in the days ahead,” read the clarification note issued by Alaska Airlines on its X account.