PORTLAND, Ore. – An Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Portland after a portion of the aircraft blew out shortly after takeoff on Friday night. As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the temporary grounding of certain Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft, according to KOIN News.
Aviation experts are now weighing in on the incident, discussing the mechanical malfunctions and potential legal ramifications. Robert Hedrick, an attorney with Aviation Law Group in Seattle who is also a licensed pilot and aircraft mechanic, categorized this as a “preventable accident.” He emphasized that the specific plane involved had only been in operation for two months, making it virtually brand new.
Hedrick expressed confidence in the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the FAA to conduct a thorough investigation and determine the cause of the incident. He also reassured passengers that the FAA’s stringent standards regarding seat attachments to the fuselage would have prevented passengers from being sucked out of the plane due to sudden depressurization, despite social media videos showing a blown-out window panel.
In terms of potential legal action, it is too early to predict any lawsuits or injury claims. Hedrick believes that claims may arise from physical injuries caused by the depressurization and inner ear problems, as well as emotional distress stemming from the terrifying experience.
Hedrick, drawing on his experience as both an attorney and a pilot, advised passengers to report any abnormal signs or sounds on an aircraft to the flight crew for investigation. He emphasized the importance of swift action in addressing potential concerns during flights.
One key question remains unanswered: where did the blown-out door go? Hedrick hopes that a thorough search will be conducted to locate the door, as it may hold crucial evidence regarding the cause of the incident.
Despite this incident, Hedrick maintains that flying is generally safe and coincidentally has plans to travel on an Alaska Airlines flight next week. Alaska Airlines reported that their maintenance team has initiated a detailed inspection process for the grounded fleet, with 18 out of 65 Boeing 737-9 aircraft being cleared to return to service as of noon on Saturday. The airline expects the remaining inspections to be completed in the next few days.
In summary, an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Portland after a section of the aircraft blew out shortly after takeoff. The FAA has issued a temporary grounding order for certain Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft. Aviation experts have weighed in, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation and potential legal implications. Passengers are reassured by the FAA’s safety standards, but are encouraged to report any concerns to the flight crew. The search for the blown-out door is ongoing, as it may provide crucial information about the incident. Despite this incident, flying is generally considered safe, as the airline initiates inspections to ensure the fleet’s airworthiness.