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FAA recommends inspection of more Boeing jets

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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a recommendation advising airlines operating Boeing 737-900ER aircraft to conduct inspections of door plugs to ensure their proper securement.

This guidance comes after some operators reported unspecified issues with bolts during inspections.

The FAA’s recommendation follows its grounding of 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes following a mid-air cabin incident on January 5, where a door plug on an eight-week-old Alaska Airlines MAX 9 jet experienced a blowout.

While the 737-900ER is not part of the newer MAX fleet, it shares the same optional door plug design, allowing for the addition of an extra emergency exit door when carriers choose to install more seats.

The FAA is urgently checking 737 MAX aircraft

The FAA disclosed in a “Safety Alert for Operators” that some airlines had conducted additional inspections on the 737-900ER mid-exit door plugs and discovered issues with bolts during maintenance inspections.

Fuselage plug

The FAA recommended that air carriers promptly perform crucial portions of a fuselage plug assembly maintenance procedure related to the four bolts used to secure the door plug to the airframe.

A Boeing spokesperson expressed full support for the FAA’s action. Boeing first delivered the 737-900ER in 2007, with the last one delivered in 2019.

Both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines (UAL.O), the only two U.S. carriers operating the MAX 9, reported finding loose parts on multiple grounded MAX 9 aircraft during preliminary checks earlier this month. As a result, they have had to cancel thousands of flights this month due to the grounding.

Remain grounded

The FAA stated on Sunday that MAX 9 planes would remain grounded until it is satisfied that they are safe to return to service.

United Airlines extended the cancellation of its MAX 9 flights through January 26, while Alaska Airlines, which has 20% of its fleet consisting of MAX 9 planes, had previously canceled all flights through Sunday.

The airline did not immediately comment on the duration of the extension of its cancellations.

Number of flights

In contrast to the MAX 9, which experienced the door-plug issue on a new plane with a low number of flights, Boeing 737-900ER aircraft have accumulated over 11 million hours of operation and 3.9 million flight cycles.

The FAA noted that the door plug “has not been an issue with this model.”

Both United and Alaska have initiated inspections of the door plugs on their 737-900ER fleets. United, which operates 136 of these aircraft, expects inspections to be completed in the next few days without causing disruptions to its customers.

Alaska Airlines began its inspections several days ago, reporting no findings to date and expecting to complete the remainder of its -900ER fleet without disruptions to its operations.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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FAA uncovers Boeing quality control issues

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The Federal Aviation Administration disclosed concerning findings from its 737 MAX production audit involving Boeing and supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

The audit uncovered multiple instances where the companies allegedly failed to adhere to manufacturing quality control standards.

The FAA highlighted significant “non-compliance issues” within Boeing’s manufacturing processes, including concerns related to parts handling, storage, and product control.

While a summary of the audit findings has been shared with the companies involved, the details have not been made public due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Following a mid-air emergency on January 5 involving a new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9, where a door plug was lost at 16,000 feet, the FAA initiated the audit.

This incident prompted a temporary grounding of the MAX 9 and raised questions about the aircraft’s safety protocols.

New acquisition

Boeing, in response to these revelations, has been in discussions to acquire Spirit AeroSystems.

However, the company has not provided immediate comment regarding the audit findings.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized the necessity for Boeing to implement comprehensive corrective measures to address what he termed as “systemic quality-control issues.”

Whitaker stated that Boeing must commit to substantial improvements, with clear milestones and expectations set forth by the FAA.

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Can U.S. Moon lander Odysseus recover from it’s dormancy?

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The U.Ss moon lander Odysseus has gone dormant just a week after its somewhat lopsided touchdown on the lunar surface.

The mission, which aimed to conduct various experiments and collect valuable data, encountered an unexpected setback as the spacecraft’s systems initiated a dormant state.

Engineers and scientists at the space agency are working around the clock to analyze the situation and determine the cause of this unforeseen development.

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Trump wins disqualification case at U.S. supreme court

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Former President Donald Trump has emerged triumphant in the Colorado ballot disqualification case, as the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision in his favour.

The ruling marks the conclusion of a contentious legal battle that began when Colorado sought to disqualify Trump from its ballot during the previous election.

The Supreme Court, in a close decision, sided with Trump, asserting that the grounds for disqualification lacked substantial evidence and did not meet the necessary legal criteria. #ticker today #featured

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