NEW DELHI, Jan 6: An Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing back in Oregon after a window and a chunk of its fuselage blew out in mid-air shortly after take-off.
A passenger sent a photo showing a gaping hole in the side of the airplane next to passenger seats. The airline said the plane landed safely with 174 passengers and six crew members.
“Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, experienced an incident this evening soon after departure,” the company said in an emailed statement. The airline said it would share more information when it became available.
The plane was diverted after rising to 4,876 meters about six minutes after taking off at 5:07 p.m., according to flight tracking data. It landed again at 5:26 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane landed safely after the crew reported a pressurization issue. The agency said it would investigate.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in a post on X said it is investigating an event involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. Boeing said it was aware of the incident, working to gather more information and ready to support the investigation.
The Max is the newest version of Boeing’s venerable 737, a twin-engine, single-aisle plane frequently used on U.S. domestic flights. The plane went into service in May 2017. Two Max 8 jets crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people, leading to a near two-year worldwide grounding of all Max 8 and Max 9 planes. The planes returned to service only after Boeing made changes to an automated flight control system implicated in the crashes.
The Boeing 737-9 MAX rolled off the assembly line and received its certification just two months ago, according to online FAA records. The Boeing 737 MAX involved in the incident was delivered to Alaska Airlines on October 1, 2023 and entered commercial service on November 11, 2023; it had accumulated just 145 flights since then, Flightradar24 said.
The 737-9 MAX includes a rear cabin exit door aft of the wings, but before the rear exit door. This is activated in dense seating configurations to meet evacuation requirements. The doors are not activated on Alaska Airlines aircraft and are permanently “plugged,” Flightradar24 said.