Boeing’s 737 Max 9 and the Alaska Airline Grounding: What to Know

An emergency landing on Friday of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 jet in Portland, Ore., led the Federal Aviation Administration to order some U.S. airlines to stop using some Max 9 planes until they are inspected. The order will affect about 171 planes owned by Alaska, United and other airlines. The episode also raised troubling new questions about the safety of a workhorse aircraft design dogged by years of problems and multiple deadly crashes.

No one was seriously injured in Friday’s incident. The jetliner returned to the airport in Portland shortly after the plane’s fuselage broke open in midair, leaving a door-size hole in the side of the aircraft.

Within hours of the episode, Alaska Airlines said it would ground all 65 of the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft in its fleet until mechanics could carefully inspect each plane. Later on Saturday, the F.A.A. ordered the temporary grounding of planes in some other airlines’ fleets.


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