Discussions continue about the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft belonging to Alaska Airlines, which broke off while cruising in the air.


United Airlines announced that it found loose door bolts on at least five of its Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft, as airlines began inspecting the planes following the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) temporary grounding order.

K Y4 Om T H2According to maintenance records viewed by US-based travel research company Skift, the loose bolts were found during initial inspections of what is known as the emergency exit door at the bottom of the 737-9's fuselage. Four of the planes in question were delivered to the airline in 2023 and one in 2022.

G D Xiq Utb Y A A6 G Q5"Since we began preliminary inspections on Saturday, we have found examples of assembly issues with the emergency exit door, which we have determined to be loose bolts that required additional tightening," a United Airlines spokesperson told Skift.

G D Xiq Ufa8 A A W O M1It is unclear whether the loose bolts identified in the company's inspection were included in the inspection manual provided by Boeing. The FAA, however, has approved Boeing's guidelines as a "must follow procedure" for returning 737-9s to service.


171 aircraft of the same type have already been grounded by the FAA, the US aviation regulator. In its latest statement, Alaska Airlines said:

"While we await airworthiness directive (AD) inspection criteria from the FAA and Boeing, our maintenance teams are ready to conduct required inspections of the emergency exit door plugs on our 737-9 Max fleet. The grounding of the 737-9 Max has significantly impacted our operations. We canceled 170 flights on Sunday and 60 flights on Monday, and we are prepared for more."

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Boeing also said in a statement: "Safety is our top priority. We deeply regret the impact this incident has had on our customers and their passengers."

The Boeing 737 Max 9 has become "the most scrutinized airplane in history" after a series of safety issues and investigations. According to Boeing data, approximately 300 737 Max 9 aircraft are in use.

Last month, the FAA notified airlines to inspect their Max models due to the possibility of loose bolts on the flight control surfaces.