NewsUnited Airlines discovers serious defects in Boeing 737 MAX 9 fleet, shaking confidence in aircraft safety

United Airlines discovers serious defects in Boeing 737 MAX 9 fleet, shaking confidence in aircraft safety

"Loose bolts". They discovered a defect in Boeing 737 MAX 9s.
"Loose bolts". They discovered a defect in Boeing 737 MAX 9s.
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2:47 AM EST, January 9, 2024

A United Airlines spokesperson reported that during the inspection, "undone bolts" were found in numerous panels of these aircraft. He added that the number of aircraft with these defects "is around ten and might increase."

"This changes everything because it’s now an issue with the entire fleet. It’s a quality control problem," said federal aviation safety specialist John Cox.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 was grounded due to a panel detaching shortly after takeoff from Portland, Oregon airport; the panel was part of an Alaska Airlines aircraft. The pilots managed to land safely, and there were no significant injuries among passengers and crew.

Boeing Faces Increasing Problems

Reuters emphasizes that although the MAX 9 aircraft are operated by only a few carriers worldwide, and in the United States, they are operated exclusively by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, this could lead to severe difficulties for the manufacturer. In recent years, Boeing has been grappling with an increasing number of quality issues, and the 737 MAX planes were once grounded at the start of 2019.

The 737 MAX aircraft had a series of technical issues and two disasters—in October 2018 and March 2019. In total, 346 people lost their lives in these accidents, and this model remained grounded for 20 months before they were cleared to fly again.

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