Alaska Airlines reports on Flight 1282 and 737-9 MAX fleet
Source: Alaska Airlines
Our first 737-9 MAX planes return to service as final inspections continue
Alaska Airlines has completed final inspections on our first group of 737-9 MAX aircraft as we move forward to return the fleet to commercial service. We’ll resume flying the 737-9 MAX with Flight 1146 from Seattle to San Diego on Friday afternoon, Jan 26.
On Jan. 24, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the detailed inspection and maintenance process for the 737-9 MAX to return to flying. Our Alaska technicians began the inspections that night. We expect inspections on our 737-9 MAX to be completed by the end of next week, allowing us to operate our full flight schedule.
Each of our 737-9 MAX will return to service only after the rigorous inspections are completed and each plane is deemed airworthy according to FAA requirements. The individual inspections are expected to take up to 12 hours per aircraft.
We remain extremely grateful to our skilled Maintenance and Engineering team that is shouldering the inspection work and safely returning the planes to service, along with gratitude to all our employees who continue to help support our guests.
Timeline of 737-9 MAX return to service:
The careful work we’re doing during the inspections
With the approval and direction of the FAA, Alaska technicians will begin the required, detailed inspections.
For the inspection process, the 737-9 MAX has two door plugs – one on the left-hand side of the plane and one on the right in the middle of the cabin. Both door plugs must be inspected according to the FAA-approved inspection guidance. We’ve put together a summary of the inspection checklist:
Before opening the mid-cabin door plug, we will confirm it was properly installed by ensuring all hardware is in place and all clearances are measured and recorded
We will then open the door plug and inspect for any damages or abnormalities to the door and seal components, including the guide fittings, roller guides and hinges, and inspect nut plates and fasteners
We will resecure each door plug and ensure it is sealed properly per approved FAA guidance before the aircraft is returned to service
Each inspection, including recording detailed measurements of hardware location, could take at least 12 hours for each aircraft
We’re grateful to our skilled maintenance and engineering team members who are undertaking the inspections and safely returning our fleet to service.
On Friday, Jan. 5, Alaska Airlines temporarily grounded its fleet of 65 737-9 MAX after a door plug detached during flight 1282 from Portland, OR to Ontario, CA. This was a harrowing flight for our guests and crew, and we’re grateful that all individuals have been medically cleared.
Investigation by the NTSB:
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) assumed the lead role in the investigation of the incident, with the support of Alaska’s safety and technical teams and Boeing representatives. Because Alaska is a formal party to the investigation, we are severely restricted in what information we can provide.
Alaska Airlines will initiate and enhance our own layers of quality control to the production of our airplanes. Learn more.
For Impacted Guests:
For guests whose flights have been impacted, we encourage them to visit alaskaair.com for self-service options. We apologize to those who have been inconvenienced as we work to reaccommodate everyone as quickly as possible.