February 25, 2024

US REGULATORS have announced they will order the temporary grounding of 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft after a window was ripped from a plane mid-flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration said some of the planes require immediate inspections before they can return to flight.

The FAA shared its official statement to X on Saturday evening

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The FAA shared its official statement to X on Saturday eveningCredit: X
US regulators will order the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft

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US regulators will order the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraftCredit: Associated Press
A portion of a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane was ripped out on Friday, forcing an Alaska Airlines flight to make an emergency landing

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A portion of a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane was ripped out on Friday, forcing an Alaska Airlines flight to make an emergency landingCredit: KPTV

The UK’s aviation and aerospace regulator also issued a statement following the FAA’s announcement.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority wrote on X on Saturday night: “Following @FAANews’ EAD, we can confirm there are no UK-registered 737 MAX 9 aircraft. The impact on UK operated aircraft and consumers is minimal.

“We have written to non-UK and foreign permit carriers to ask inspections have been undertaken prior to operation in UK airspace.”

It comes after a window was ripped from a plane in mid-air, tearing the shirt off a child and sucking passengers’ phones from their hands.

The Alaska Airlines flight, which left Portland, Oregon for Ontario, California at 4:40pm on Friday was plunged into chaos less than an hour into its journey.

Stunned passengers described seeing a large section of the plane blown out mid-air with dramatic pictures of the aftermath showing a gaping hole in its side.

The FAA said in a statement published to X on Saturday evening: “The FAA will order the temporary grounding of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft operated by US airlines or in US territory.

“The Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) that will be issued shortly will require operators to inspect aircraft before further flight that do not meet the inspection cycles specified in the EAD. The required inspections will take around four to eight hours per aircraft.

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“The EAD will affect approximately 171 airplanes worldwide.”

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker added: “The FAA is requiring immediate inspections of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes before they can return to flight.

“Safety will continue to drive our decision-making as we assist the
@NTSB’s investigation into Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.”

Shocking footage shared on TikTok captured the chaos which unfolded on Friday afternoon and showed passengers using emergency oxygen masks as the plane was still in the air.

The person who posted the clip wrote: “A part of the plane flew off not even 20 minutes into our flight.”

Part of the missing plane was seen in the video with the night sky visible just a few feet from where people were sitting.

One passenger told Fox News affiliate KPTV that a child had to be held in his seat by his mum as people lost their phones, which were sucked out of the plane.

Another child closest to the damage lost his shirt due to the violent depressurisation, the outlet was told.

Alaska Airlines later announced it was going to temporarily ground its fleet of 65 Boeing Max 9 aircraft while carrying out its investigation.

Boeing 737 Max planes are the most commonly used aircraft for commercial flights in the world with over 1,160 in active use.

Back in 2019, the crisis-hit jets sparked safety fears after two fatal air crashes and were eventually grounded across EU airspace.

More than 150 people died when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed in March of that year – the second air disaster involving the model in less than five months.

Enhanced satellite tracking data linked the Ethiopian jet’s movements to those of an Indonesian Lion Air flight that plunged into the Java Sea in October and killed 189 people.

The crashes were blamed on the MCAS flight control system, which is said to have caused the jets to nosedive.

Boeing later re-wrote not only this system but the entire flight control software, stating in November 2019 that it expected the 737 Max to restart commercial service in January 2020.

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Software issues were reportedly cited as the reason the planes’ return was then delayed for many months.

The Boeing 737 Max planes were eventually allowed to take off in late 2020 after upgrades were made to their jets.

A window was ripped from a plane in mid-air on Friday

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A window was ripped from a plane in mid-air on FridayCredit: KPTV
A passenger uploaded the shocking clips that show the gaping hole to TikTok

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A passenger uploaded the shocking clips that show the gaping hole to TikTokCredit: TIikTok/@strawberr.vy
Alaska Airlines apologised for the carnage in a statement released to X

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Alaska Airlines apologised for the carnage in a statement released to XCredit: X/AlaskaAir