United Airlines announced this on Monday found loose screws on his Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft, The model was decommissioned by authorities after one of the planes operated by Alaska Airlines lost part of its fuselage mid-flight last Saturday.
“Since we began pre-inspections on Saturday, we have identified cases where this was the case appear to be related to door panel installation issues: for example, screws that needed to be tightened even further,” United airline said in a brief statement to the media today.
“These findings will be addressed by our technical operations team to safely return the aircraft to service,” he added.
United Airlines is the largest operator of Boeing 737 Max 9s. with 79 of these aircraft in its fleetwhile Alaska Airlines, which has not yet commented on inspections, has 65.
The Alaska Airlines plane that was involved in the incident on Saturday The panel was lost at an altitude of almost 5,000 meters which was used to seal a hole to accommodate an additional emergency door, a common measure on aircraft flying routes with low passenger density.
The plane had to return to the city of Portland, Oregon, where it had taken off, a few minutes after takeoff. without serious injuries.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) ordered the immediate shutdown of all 737 Max 9s with the same configuration as the Alaska Airlines aircraft to carry out inspections, and this Monday Boeing transmitted the instructions to carry out these inspections.
The measure, also decided by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), does not affect any of the company's aircraft in Europe, since the Boeing 737 Max 9s that operate in the common area have a different configuration.
Overall there is 215 of these aircraft are in use worldwide, and in addition to United and Alaska Airlines, they also have Panamanian Copa Airlines, Mexican Aeroméxico, Island Air, Turkish Airlines and FlyDubai in their fleets.
Just two weeks ago, Boeing 737s were back in the headlines after the American multinational asked airlines to check their planes for a possible loose screw in the control system.
The latest incident has caused further damage spotlight on Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which were immobilized in much of the world for about two years after two accidents involving the 737 Max 8 model that killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2019 and 2020.
In both of these cases, it was determined that the flight control software generated erroneous information and placed the aircraft in a descending position despite the pilots attempting to reverse that instruction.