Window Dislodged During Flight, US Grounds Boeing 737 MAX 9 News – 7 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The US aviation regulator (FAA) on Saturday temporarily suspended operations of a number of Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes for safety checks following a cabin panel explosion that forced Alaska Airlines carrying passengers to make an emergency landing.

The incident tore the fuselage on the left side as the plane climbed after takeoff from Portland, Oregon, en route to Ontario, California, on Friday. As a result, the pilot was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing, with all 171 passengers and six crew on board safe.

It is known that the aircraft has only been operational for eight weeks.

The FAA's decision is much lighter than the decision to ground the Boeing MAX globally nearly five years ago following two crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed nearly 350 people.

However, it is another blow for Boeing as it tries to recover from a safety crisis and pandemic caused by heavy debt.

The FAA did not rule out further action on Saturday as an investigation began into the structural failure, which left a rectangular hole in the fuselage area.

“The FAA is requiring immediate inspections of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft before they can return to flight,” FAA chairman Mike Whitaker said, citing the report. Reuters.

Social media posts showed oxygen masks being put on and parts of the plane's sidewall missing.

Emma Vu, a passenger on the Alaska flight, told CNN International that she woke up when the plane “had just crashed, and I knew it wasn't just regular turbulence because the mask fell off and that's when the panic started to set in.”

The FAA said its inspection directive covers 171 MAX 9 planes but did not say how many planes would require new inspections or what the exact inspection requirements would be.

The MAX 9s represent about 220 of the 1,400 MAX jets delivered to buyers so far and most of them have similar specifications to Alaska Airlines' planes.

Boeing said it supports the FAA's decision.

Several foreign regulators including China asked for details about the incident, sources said Reuters. Bloomberg previously reported that China, the first country to ban MAX flights in 2019, was considering whether to take action.

Previously, MAX aircraft were grounded worldwide for 20 months after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia related to poorly designed cockpit software.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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