Alaska Airlines grounds Boeing 737-9 planes after SoCal-bound flight's emergency landing in Oregon

Alaska Airlines grounds Boeing 737-9 planes after SoCal-bound flight's emergency landing in Oregon

 


Alaska Airlines grounds Boeing 737-9 planes after SoCal-bound flight's emergency landing in Oregon

Six crew members and 171 passengers were on board Flight 1282, the airline said.



PORTLAND, Ore. -- An Alaska Airlines flight bound for Southern California returned to Portland, Oregon, soon after takeoff after it "experienced an incident," prompting the airline to temporarily ground its Boeing 737-9 fleet, the airline said Friday.


Six crew members and 171 passengers were on board Flight 1282 headed for Ontario, the airline said.


The cabin became depressurized shortly after takeoff and the pilots asked for an emergency landing, according to the transcript of an air traffic control call from LiveATC.net. A photo posted on social media appeared to show a hole in the fuselage next to a passenger seat.


"The safety of our guests and employees is always our primary priority," Alaska said in a statement, "so while this type of occurrence is rare, our flight crew was trained and prepared to safely manage the situation."


CEO Ben Minicucci called the grounding "precautionary," saying in a statement the 65 planes will return to service "only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections."


"We are working with Boeing and regulators to understand what occurred tonight, and will share updates as more information is available," Minicucci said.


The damage that led to the emergency landing appeared to be in the location of a "plug," said John J. Nance, an ABC News aviation analyst. Those are spots in the fuselage shaped similar to a door that aren't designed to open, even when the aircraft is on the ground. They could be converted to doors if the airline needs an extra boarding door.



The Boeing 737 MAX 9 has been in service since October 2023, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.


The aircraft maker said it had a technical team standing ready help with the investigation.


"We are aware of the incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282," Boeing officials said in a statement. "We are working to gather more information and are in contact with our airline customer."


The National Transportation Safety Board said on Saturday they were launching a "Go Team" to Portland to investigate the incident.


The team will arrive on scene later Saturday and consists of experts in structures, operations and systems, the NTSB said.

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