Major Airline Finds Loose Bolts On Multiple Boeing Planes In Fleet Following Alaska Air Accident

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Will Kessler Contributor
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One of America’s biggest flight companies, United Airlines, found loose bolts on at least five of the aircraft in its fleet of Boeing jets, according to The Air Current.

Inspectors at the company found discrepant bolts and other parts on the plug doors of some of its Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation who spoke to The Air Current. The inspection follows an incident on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Friday where the side window panels blew off mid-flight, prompting an emergency landing and causing several injuries. (RELATED: Businesses Are Getting Crushed ‘Beneath The Surface’ Of Economy, New Figures Show)

“Since we began preliminary inspections on Saturday, we have found instances that appear to relate to installation issues in the door plug — for example, bolts that needed additional tightening,” United Airlines told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “These findings will be remedied by our Tech Ops team to safely return the aircraft to service.”

Following the Alaska Airlines incident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Saturday that it would be temporarily grounding over a hundred Boeing 737 MAX-9 planes worldwide in order to be inspected. The inspections required take four to eight hours to complete.

Alaska Airlines also voluntarily grounded its fleet of 65 Boeing MAX-9 planes on Saturday, noting that the company was working with regulators to understand the incident, according to a statement.

In late December, before the Alaska Airlines incident, the FAA had already scheduled all Boeing 737 MAX planes to undergo an inspection for possible loose bolts in the rudder control system.

“We’re working to return our Boeing 737 MAX 9s to service in the days ahead,” United told the DCNF. “As of Monday, service on that aircraft remains suspended and we have canceled 200 MAX 9 flights. We expect significant cancellations on Tuesday as well. We have been able to operate some planned flights by switching to other aircraft types, avoiding about 30 cancellations each on Monday and Tuesday.”

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the DCNF.

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