United airlines flight landed with a missing external panel

FAA: United Flight Landed in Oregon With a Missing External Panel

The Federal Aviation Administration said that a United Airlines flight flew from San Francisco to Oregon with a missing external panel. United Flight 433 left San Francisco at 10:20 am and landed in Oregon before noon.   

United said in a statement that the missing panel on the Boeing 737-800 was only discovered after it landed safely at Rogue Valley International Medford Airport in Oregon. So far, it is unclear how the external panel went missing. 

Missing External Panel

United also clarified that there was no indication of any damage on the plane during the flight. Plus, it didn’t declare any emergency while it was on its way to Oregon. The airline said, “We’ll conduct a thorough examination of the plane and perform all the needed repairs before it returns to service.” It added, “We’ll also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred.”

Medford Airport’s director, Amber Judd said that United ground crew or pilots noticed the missing external panel during a routine inspection before the next flight. 

Airport officials decided to pause airport operations to look for debris that may have come from the aircraft. Operations resumed after no debris was found on the runway.

Boeing Facing Heavy Scrutiny

The FAA said that it is going to investigate the incident. Boeing is currently facing heavy scrutiny. In addition to the missing external panel, a door-sized part of a Boeing 737 Max 9 Alaska Airlines blew off in January. 

While there were no casualties, government officials are looking into the quality control of Boeing. 

After the Alaska Airlines incident, the FAA started a six-week audit of the company. Here, the agency discovered “multiple instances” when Boeing failed to follow quality-control protocols. 

Since then, there have been multiple issues recorded with flights using Boeing aircraft. On March 8, a United Airlines flight rolled into the grass after landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. 


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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.


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