(ReliableNews.org) – When people board a plane, there’s an expectation that they will arrive at their destination in one piece. There’s also an expectation that the plane they are on will arrive at the destination in one piece. The latter did not happen for people on an Alaska Airlines flight. Fortunately, everyone was okay.
On January 6, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered airlines to ground their Boeing 737 Max 9 planes. The order came after one of the jets, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, was forced to make an emergency landing when a piece of the plane blew off during the flight the previous night.
The New York Times spoke to passengers on the flight that was traveling from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California. According to the people on the plane, they heard a loud noise and felt an explosion. Suddenly, air blew into the cabin, and the oxygen masks dropped. One of the 171 passengers, 33-year-old Nicholas Hoch, said he started texting his parents and girlfriend, telling them there was a problem with the plane and that he loved them.
Vicki Kreps, 56, was traveling with her grandchildren, ages 5 and 7. When the loud noise came, she said she felt the air decompress and ensured they all had their oxygen masks on. She explained the plane began to descend rapidly. A teenager told KGW8 that his shirt was ripped off when the hole blew out. He was sitting one seat away from the door plug, and when the plane opened up, his mom helped pull him back from the hole. The seatbelt is credited with saving his life.
The plane was 16,000 feet in the air when a piece of fuselage called a door plug tore away from the plane. The plug was covering an unused emergency door in row 26. Bob Sauer, a physics teacher at a suburban Portland school, found the door plug in his backyard. He contacted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on January 7. Agents showed up the next day, interviewed him, and gave him a medallion as a thanks.
The FAA will now ensure the other Boeing Max 9s are safe, but the situation has already caused the cancellation of dozens of flights. It’s unclear when the situation will be straightened out.
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