Scores of Boeings grounded worldwide after midair blowout incident — RT World News

The company was criticized for two fatal accidents involving 737 MAX aircraft several years ago

Dozens of Boeing 737 Max 9 planes have been grounded around the world, including in the United States, Latin America, Turkey and the European Union, after a plane was forced to make an emergency landing due to a panel that separated in midair.

On Friday, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, flying from Portland, Oregon, to California, was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff when a large portion of the plane's fuselage broke off, exposing the cabin to the outside environment. None of the 174 passengers or six crew members on board were seriously injured, although several people needed medical attention. While the cause of the accident remains unclear, Alaska Airlines has temporarily grounded all 65 of its 737 MAX 9 aircraft for safety checks.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Saturday that it had ordered the temporary grounding of a certain number of 737 MAX 9 aircraft operated by US airlines or within the country, requiring immediate inspections before they can take off. Officials said the order includes about 171 aircraft.

Boeing said it fully supports the FAA's decision “We are deeply sorry[s]” about the incident, adding that its technicians are assisting in the investigation.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency adopted the US aviation regulator's guidance, but noted that no airline was based in the EU “Currently working[s] “Aircraft in the affected configuration” As reported by Reuters. The British Civil Aviation Authority said that although British airlines do not use this type of aircraft, it has asked foreign airlines to request inspections before operating in UK airspace.

Turkish Airlines also announced that it will suspend the operation of its five Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft until the technical review process is completed, stressing that… “Aviation safety is our top priority.” Latin American airlines Copa Airlines and Aeromexico followed suit, grounding 40 planes as well.

The latest accident is the latest in a series of mishaps that have plagued the company and its best-selling 737 MAX series in the past few years. It was grounded for 20 months after two accidents in Ethiopia (2019) and Indonesia (2018), killing 346 people. The company has also struggled with manufacturing defects, and last month asked airlines to inspect its Max planes for a loose bolt in the rudder control system.

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