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Missing part of the cabin in the plane: US bans Boeing from flying…

Missing part of the cabin in the plane: US bans Boeing from flying…

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered an immediate inspection of more than 170 aircraft of this type. The European Aviation Safety Agency is taking orders after a window section came loose on an Alaska Airlines plane.

The FAA has grounded more than 170 flights on a Boeing 737-9 Max after part of its cabin, including a window, was torn off. The authority announced on Saturday that immediate inspections of some aircraft of this model are necessary, which can take four to eight hours per flight. Only then will the affected aircraft be re-operated.

It applies to flights operated by US airlines or traveling within US territory – 171 flights worldwide. The incident occurred on an Alaska Airlines flight en route from Portland, Oregon to Ontario Airport, east of Los Angeles. The airline had already announced that it was grounding all of its Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft and undergoing thorough maintenance and safety checks for 65 aircraft.

Breathing masks next to a hole in the plane.Reuters / Instagram / @strawberrvy

Big bang and part of the window blew out

The incident also brought the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) into action. It has adopted US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines for the Boeing 737 Max 9. However, EASA noted that no airline from EU member states “currently operates aircraft in the affected configuration”. Britain's aviation safety regulator previously said any operator of the 737 Max 9 would have to comply with FAA orders to fly in its airspace.

Media reported that a part of the window suddenly came loose and flew away. There was a large explosion and then air rushed in through the hole, passengers told The Oregonian newspaper. The seat directly by the window was unoccupied, but a teenager in the middle seat was injured due to a sudden depressurization. No serious injuries were reported. The flight returned to the airport shortly after takeoff with 171 passengers on board and landed safely, the airline said in a statement.

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Videos show a hole in the side of the plane

Passenger videos showed a hole in the side of the plane. “It wasn't even an emergency exit. It was just part of the plane,” a woman said in the video.

Faults in Boeing 737 cause 346 deaths

In contrast to Friday's benign outcome, two emergencies in 2018 and 2019 ended disastrously and led to the grounding of the 737 Max series. A total of 346 people died in the two accidents. A faulty control scheme is believed to be the main cause of the machines crashing to the ground.

Boeing later revised the type and gradually received re-certifications. However, the medium-haul jet continued to make headlines with production defects and put pressure on the manufacturer's balance sheet. Alaska Airlines has increased its fleet in recent years with an upgraded version of the 737-9 Max. In total, the airline has around 300 aircraft, most of which are from Boeing. (APA/dpa)

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