The “decommissioned” plug door to a BOEING 737-9 MAX aircraft flew off during a flight from Oregon to California. When the incident happened, the aircraft had just taken off from Portland International Airport and reached an altitude of around 16,000 feet. The crew successfully kept calm on board, descended the aircraft to 10,000 feet, completed a U-turn, and landed safely back in Portland.
Nobody was seriously injured, and luckily, no one was sitting next to the “door plug,” which was covered by a plastic panel with a window. The force of the door plug ripping away from the fuselage was enough to rip off the reinforced cockpit door at the front of the aircraft. The door in question is located some 23 rows away from the cockpit.
An Oregon school teacher named Bob found the door plug in his backyard. Authorities have presumably recovered the door and will investigate how such a thing happened. Such doors are usually impossible to open during flight because of the mechanism to keep them sealed. These doors self-seal through the contrast in pressure outside a pressurized cabin and inside. The door may not have been affixed to the aircraft’s fuselage properly, which would circumvent the door’s reliability on the pressure differences.
Boeing is no stranger to quality control problems. In 2018 and 2019, the aircraft company experienced the crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. This resulted in hundreds of deaths and the grounding of all aircraft of this type. The current iteration of this aircraft type is apparently experiencing a different set of problems, this time with plug doors instead of the way-too-big engines that plagued the MAX 8.
Missing door plug that detached from Alaska Airlines plane found in Oregon teacher’s backyard
Portland area man finds missing door ‘plug’ torn from Alaska Airlines flight in backyard
Missing Alaska Airlines door plug found as Boeing faces scrutiny – The Washington Post
The ‘door plug’ on Boeing’s jet isn’t really a door at all. Here’s what it is. : NPR
Missing part of Boeing 737 Max 9 plane that blew off mid-flight is found | CNN
Alaska Airlines scare echoes 737 Max crashes in 2018-19 | Fortune
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