The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the grounding of select Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft to conduct safety inspections.
FAA Order: Ground 737 MAX 9 Aircraft For Inspections
The aircraft type was involved in a freak incident over Portland, Oregon last night. A “plugged” rear mid-cabin emergency exit door on an Alaska Airlines 737-9 MAX (essentially, part of the fuselage) separated from the aircraft minutes after takeoff, triggering a rapid decompression event. An emergency was declared and the aircraft returned to Portland. No injuries were reported.
The FAA order applies to all US carriers as well as foreign carriers operating in US territory. It impacts 171 jets. Inspections will take between 4-8 hours per aircraft to complete.
The FAA is requiring immediate inspections of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes before they can return to flight.
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) January 6, 2024
It was earlier reported that United Airlines would voluntarily ground its fleet of over 80 737 MAX 9 aircraft, but that move is now mandatory. United Airlines told Live And Let’s Fly:
United has temporarily suspended service on select Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft to conduct an inspection required by the FAA. We are working directly with impacted customers to find them alternative travel options.
United has 79 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and 33 of those have already received the necessary inspection now is required by the FAA. About 60 cancellations today are expected due to this move.