We’ve been traveling to and from Alaska for years, usually on Alaska Airlines and often flying out of Seattle and Portland. We’ve accumulated nearly 100,000 miles on Alaska Airlines in the last year. That’s why we were shocked when we woke up this morning and read the headlines regarding Alaska Airlines flight 1282 departing out of Portland.
We at AlaskaExplored usually write fun and relevant content related to travel and exploring the great state of Alaska. Today, we are writing about something more current since it hits so close to home.
This short article will give you the basic details of what occurred onboard Alaska Airlines flight 1282 and what is happening with the Boeing 737 Max fleet in response. This will be a short what-you-need-to-know article. I hope you find it informative.
Alaska Airlines Emergency Landing at PDX
This is an ongoing event, and details are still coming out. Here are the basic details of what occurred. We will try and update the post as we learn more.
What Happened on Board Alaska Airlines Flight 1282:
On Friday Evening, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 departed from Portland’s PDX airport at 4:52 pm, heading for Ontario, California. Shortly after taking off, the cabin experienced a rapid decompression after a panel blew out. The blowout took a section of paneling, including at least one window with it. The pilots were able to make an emergency landing back at PDX at 5:27 pm. Passengers on board the plane reported hearing a loud popping noise before noticing the missing large panel. There are reports that a young person sitting close to the panel lost their shirt in the incident.
Did Anyone Die on Alaska Airlines flight 1282:
According to all the reports online, there were no fatalities and only minor injuries in the incident. While the whole ordeal seems terrifying, there are interviews online with brave passengers who survived the incident and boarded another flight Friday night to reach their final destinations.
What is happening now in Response:
On Friday evening, Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci announced that the airline was immediately grounding its entire 737-9 MAX fleet until they could all be inspected. The FAA later expanded the mandatory inspections of 737-9 MAX planes beyond just the Alaska Airlines 65 planes.
“The FAA is requiring immediate inspections of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes before they can return to flight,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.
The inspections are expected to take between 4 and 8 hours, and planes that have passed the inspection should be able to return to service.
Alaska Airlines Safty History
Alaska Airlines has a generally good safety record and does not have a history of major crashes, persistent issues with faulty planes, and has not experienced a fatal crash since 2000. On January 31, 2000, Flight 261, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft, experienced a mechanical failure in its horizontal stabilizer, leading to the loss of control of the aircraft. The plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, resulting in the tragic loss of all 88 people on board.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an investigation into the crash, determining that inadequate maintenance procedures and the lack of proper lubrication in the jackscrew assembly of the horizontal stabilizer were contributing factors.Since that incident, Alaska Airlines has implemented changes to enhance safety procedures, and the airline has not experienced another fatal crash.
For more details read the FAA’s report, here.
Boeing 737 Max Safty History
Boeing is one of the world’s largest aerospace companies and it has a long complex safety history. While Boeing has been a key player in aviation for many decades and has produced some of the most successful and widely used aircraft, it has also faced challenges and controversies related to safety. Especially with the Boeing 737 Max, the same aircraft that had the section blowout on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.
Boeing 737 MAX Crisis (2018-2019)
Boeing faced a significant safety crisis with its 737 MAX series after two fatal crashes within a short period: Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019. The crashes were linked to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), a flight control system. In both incidents, a flawed sensor triggered MCAS, leading to a loss of control.
Grounding of 737 MAX
In the aftermath of the crashes, aviation authorities worldwide, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), ordered the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet. Boeing faced criticism for its design decisions, the certification process, and communication with airlines and regulators.
737 MAX Improvements and Recertification
Boeing worked to address the issues with the 737 MAX, making changes to the MCAS system and enhancing pilot training. The FAA and other international regulators conducted thorough reviews, and the 737 MAX was gradually recertified for flight in various regions.
Settlements and Legal Actions
Boeing faced legal challenges and settlements related to the 737 MAX crisis. In 2021, the company agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, resolving a criminal charge of conspiracy to defraud the FAA.
For a deeper dive into Boeings sorted past, check out some of these documentaries.
- Boeing’s Killer Plane (BBC Panorama) This documentary investigates the Boeing 737 MAX crashes and examines issues related to the design and certification process. It provides insights into the events leading up to the grounding of the aircraft.
- Broken Dreams: The Boeing 737 MAX (DW News) This documentary explores the story of the Boeing 737 MAX crisis, investigating the factors that led to the two fatal crashes and the subsequent grounding of the aircraft.
- Frontline: Boeing’s Fatal Flaw (PBS) An episode of the PBS investigative journalism series “Frontline,” this documentary delves into the design flaws, corporate decisions, and regulatory oversight issues that contributed to the Boeing 737 MAX crisis.
- Boeing’s 737 Max: What Went Wrong? (Channel 4 Dispatches) This documentary, produced by Channel 4 Dispatches in the UK, investigates the events surrounding the Boeing 737 MAX crashes and questions Boeing’s corporate culture and decision-making processes.