united airlines grounds boeing 737 max

United Airlines Suspends Its Fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9 Following Alaska Airlines Incident

United Airlines suspended its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9, following the grounding order of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This order comes after an incident that took place on an Alaska Airlines flight. A section of the Boeing 737 Max 9 blew out midflight

While Alaska Airlines preemptively grounded its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9, FAA’s order applies to both US airlines and carriers operating in the United States. This directive affects a total of 171 planes. 

No Serious Injuries  

There were no serious injuries reported on the Alaska Airlines flight. All 171 passengers and crew members landed safely according to the carrier. 

However, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement, “Safety will continue to drive our decision-making as we assist the NTSB’s investigation into Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.”

Fatal Crashes Involving Boeing 737 Max

The National Transportation Safety Board already started their own investigation on the incident. Chair Jennifer Homendy during a press conference asked the public’s assistance to help find the missing door that was part of the plane. 

Homendy further clarified that no passengers were seated near the section of the plane that blew out. She highlighted the fortunate circumstance that the incident occurred while the aircraft was still ascending, rather than during cruising altitude when passengers and crew might have been walking through the cabin. Homendy said that “We could have ended up with something more tragic.” 

Always Fasten Your Seatbelt

A professor of aerospace safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Anthony Brickhouse, said that this type of incident is extremely rare. He said “rapid decompression is a serious matter.” He added, “To see a gaping hole in an aircraft is not something we typically see. In aviation safety, we would call this a structural failure.” 

This is also a reminder for passengers to always fasten their seatbelt. Brickhouse said that “I always advise people on a commercial aircraft, keep your seatbelt on regardless of what the light says.” 

Picture of John Michael Jayme
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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