Boeing trouble continues as 737's cabin panel slips mid-air, sparks investigation - Hindustan Times

Boeing trouble continues as 737's cabin panel slips mid-air, sparks investigation

Mar 16, 2024 07:34 AM IST

Boeing's recent string of incidents continues as a 737-800's cabin panel slips mid-flight, adding to concerns over safety.

Last Friday Boeing 737-800 (air crate) had an unpredictable problem. The reason for the problem was that the external panel of the cabin slipped during the flight.

Boeing 737’s panel slip was noticed after it safely landed in Oregon(Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport)
Boeing 737’s panel slip was noticed after it safely landed in Oregon(Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport)

This event is the most recent chain of problems for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while the plane was tracked at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport in Oregon, which ended up with a safe landing in Oregon only.

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United Airlines Flight 433 had taken off from San Francisco at approximately 10:08:20 hours, and ahead roughly 70 minutes later, we reached Medford. The missed panel was found in the evidence during the landing, and afterwards, the airport operations had to be suspended till the airport runway was scrutinized for safety measures.

No debris on the field, does that mean it slipped mid-air?

Amber Judd, the airport’s director, expressed that the mechanics should have checked that the aircraft was missing immediately after the plane's personnel disembarked and the aircraft was docked.

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In spite of mid-flight disconnection the flight did not register any problems, and declaring any emergency was not required as well. According to the United Airlines report, there were 139 passengers in this aircraft, including six crew members. Searching not only the airport vicinity but also in neighboring communities failed to find the missing section.

“After finding no debris on the airfield, normal operations at MFR resumed a few minutes later,” Judd added.

United Airlines has announced, “We’ll also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred” of the 25-year-old aircraft, ensuring all necessary repairs are completed prior to its return to service. The airline is also set to conduct an investigation to ascertain the cause of the damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also indicated that it will investigate the incident, as per a spokesperson.

Boeing woes continue, 7th in a fortnight

This alarming fiasco marks the seventh Boeing-related incident in a fortnight. Just the day before, an American Airlines flight had to execute an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport due to a suspected mechanical issue on a Boeing plane.

Earlier in the week, a United Airlines flight en route from Sydney to San Francisco had to reverse course because of a fuel leak. The Boeing 777-300 landed safely back in Sydney with 167 passengers and 16 crew members aboard.

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner travelling from Sydney to Auckland encountered a technical problem, resulting in injuries to 50 passengers.

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On March 7, a United Airlines flight bound for Japan had to divert to Los Angeles International Airport after a tire from the Boeing 777-20 detached following takeoff, causing damage to vehicles in a parking lot below.

In response to these incidents, Boeing has informed its employees through a memo that it will implement weekly compliance checks in all 737 work areas and conduct additional equipment audits to mitigate quality issues.

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