Inspecting a second model following the 737 Max 9 blowout

Following the burst of an unused door on one of its airplanes earlier this month, checks are scheduled to be performed on a second model of Boeing aircraft. More than 170 737 Max 9 aircraft were grounded by the US Federal Aviation Administration after a cabin panel cracked thousands of feet above the earth. The government stated on Sunday that since the 737-900ER and previous models share the same door design, airlines should also examine them. The action was referred to by the FAA as a “added layer of safety”.

It stated that although there have been no complaints about the 737-900ER, it utilizes the same kind of panel to “plug” an unusable door as the aircraft in the horrifying 5 January incident.  A huge hole in the side of the airplane was left by the panel coming loose, forcing an emergency landing on an Alaska Airlines trip from Portland, Oregon to California. The event caused a sharp decline in Boeing’s share price and forced the FAA to ground all 737 Max 9s equipped with that type of panel. The government is looking into the company’s production lines and manufacturing processes, especially those connected to the panel’s subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems.

The FAA stated earlier this week that it had inspected 40 of the grounded aircraft, but it did not specify when those aircraft would be allowed to take to the air once more. In the wake of the event, Boeing has stated that it will improve the caliber of inspections performed during the manufacturing process. Compared to the newer 737 Max 9, the 737-900ER planes have operated for 11 million hours without seeing any such incidents. The FAA did not mandate that the older aircraft be grounded while operators conducted visual inspections.

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