The Federal Aviation Administration is now asking operators of the 737-900ER to visually inspect the door plug assembly before flight.
Safety Alert Comes After “Noted Findings with Bolts”
While the Boeing 737 MAX-9 remains grounded after a mid-cabin door plug was dislodged from an Alaska Airlines flight, the airframe type has remained grounded for further inspection and a solution to future problems. However, the bolt fasteners could also affect the older “Next Generation” 737-900ER.
In a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO), the FAA is encouraging 737-900ER operators to “conduct a visual inspection to ensure the door plug is restrained from any movements through the two upper guide track bolts and two lower arrestor bolts.” The recommendation comes after the agency says some airlines have found issues since the Alaska Airlines incident.
“The Boeing 737-900ER mid-exit door plugs have an identical door plug design to the 737-9 MAX,” the SAFO reads. “As part of their Safety Management Systems, some operators have conducted additional inspections on the 737-900ER mid-exit door plugs and have noted findings with bolts during the maintenance inspections.”
Over 500 737-900ER aircraft were delivered globally, with three U.S.-based airlines keeping it in their fleet. Delta Air Lines has over 160 737 900-ER airframes; United Airlines has just under 150; and Alaska Airlines operates around 90.
The recommendation falls short of a full grounding and Emergency Airworthiness Directive over the issue. Boeing has not issued a release about the new SAFO.
Track the continued Boeing 737 MAX-9 issues and how it affects Alaska Airlines and other carriers on the FlyerTalk forums.
Source: frugal travel guy