Boeing Cites Missing Paperwork as Cause for 737 Max Door Incident with Alaska Airlines

Boeing Cites Missing Paperwork as Cause for 737 Max Door Incident with Alaska Airlines
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Boe­ing has offered a pecu­liar expla­na­tion for the ter­ri­fy­ing inci­dent where a door pan­el dra­mat­i­cal­ly blew off an Alas­ka Air­lines 737 Max plane dur­ing flight. The aero­space giant claims that the lack of prop­er doc­u­men­ta­tion may be respon­si­ble for the situation.

Accord¬≠ing to the report, pre¬≠lim¬≠i¬≠nary find¬≠ings from the Nation¬≠al Trans¬≠porta¬≠tion Safe¬≠ty Board (NTSB) inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tion first iden¬≠ti¬≠fied that four bolts were miss¬≠ing, which are required to hold the door in place.

Boe­ing stat­ed that the miss­ing paper­work result­ed in these vital bolts nev­er being rein­stalled after the door plug was removed for maintenance.

The Boe¬≠ing senior vice pres¬≠i¬≠dent of qual¬≠i¬≠ty, Eliz¬≠a¬≠beth Lund, explained that two sep¬≠a¬≠rate teams of employ¬≠ees are respon¬≠si¬≠ble for remov¬≠ing and rein¬≠stalling the door plug as it moves along the assem¬≠bly line. 

The first group took the pan¬≠el off to address issues with riv¬≠ets, but did not gen¬≠er¬≠ate any paper¬≠work to indi¬≠cate they had removed the door plug and the nec¬≠es¬≠sary bolts. This meant the next group that rein¬≠stalled the door plug was unaware that the four bolts had been tak¬≠en out and need¬≠ed to be put back in.

Lund said, ‚Äú(Per¬≠ma¬≠nent) rein¬≠stal¬≠la¬≠tion is done by anoth¬≠er team based on the paper¬≠work show¬≠ing what jobs are unfin¬≠ished. But there was no paper¬≠work, so nobody knew to fol¬≠low up.‚ÄĚ Shock¬≠ing¬≠ly, the plane flew in this tem¬≠po¬≠rary con¬≠di¬≠tion for two months before the door pan¬≠el blew out at 16,000 feet, just min¬≠utes after takeoff.

The NTSB has rep¬≠ri¬≠mand¬≠ed Boe¬≠ing for dis¬≠clos¬≠ing this infor¬≠ma¬≠tion before the inves¬≠ti¬≠ga¬≠tion is com¬≠plete, but the air¬≠craft man¬≠u¬≠fac¬≠tur¬≠er defend¬≠ed its actions, stat¬≠ing it was an effort to ‚Äútake responsibility.‚ÄĚ 

This inci­dent is the lat­est set­back for Boe­ing, which has faced numer­ous safe­ty con­cerns with its 737 Max jets, includ­ing two fatal crash­es in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

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