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United Airlines Grounds 737-9 Planes Following Alaska Incident

United Airlines canceled 90 flights on Saturday and 180 on Sunday after grounding its B737-9 planes in compliance with the FAA’s Emergency Airworthiness Directive on the Boeing 737-9. United has 79 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

United Airlines Boeing 737-9 plane

This EAD resulted from an incident on an Alaska Airlines aircraft with an in-flight separation of a mid-cabin door plug, which resulted in a rapid decompression of the airplane. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the potential in-flight loss of a mid-cabin door plug, which could injure passengers and crew, the door impacting the airplane, and/or loss of control.

Boeing is working with the FAA to define the final means of compliance with the EAD, detailing inspections and processes to re-authorize flight operations on this aircraft configuration.

United Airlines has begun preliminary inspections for its Boeing 737-9 planes and is taking steps such as removing the inner panel to access the emergency door while awaiting final instructions.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued its own order requiring compliance with the FAA’s EAD, although no European carriers operate 737-9 aircraft with the emergency door plug.

Read FAA EAD on 737-9

A copy of the FAA’s EAD can be found here:

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