NY Times: Alaska 737 MAX Scheduled for Service Before Blowout


The New York Times reports maintenance employees at the carrier asked for the aircraft to be serviced in the days before the incident.


Service Scheduled Before Flights, But Airline Executives Say Issues Were Not Related

According to interviews and document reviews conducted by the newspaper, the aircraft reported two pressurization warning signals in the 10 days before the door plug blowout. The airline’s protocol requires three warnings during a 10-day timespan before an immediate service.


Technical employees at the airline reportedly asked the carrier to take the aircraft offline for immediate maintenance, citing the issue. Schedulers instead ordered the maintenance on January 5, 2024, after completing three flights. Additional restrictions were put on the airplane, including preventing flights over water to Hawaii, or over remote parts of the United States in case of an emergency.


The door plug blew out on the second of the three flights from Portland International Airport (PDX) to Ontario International Airport (ONT).


Despite the warnings, executives for the airline say the warning and door plug blowout were not necessarily related. In an interview with the Times, airline vice president for safety and security Mad Tidwell says the warnings could have been caused by other issues, such as electronics.


“From my perspective as the safety guy, looking at all the data, all the leading indicators, there was nothing that would drive me to make a different decision,” Tidwell said in an interview.


An attorney representing flyers aboard Alaska Flight 1282 disagreed with the opinion of the airline’s executives. Mark Lindquist, who represents some of the flyers taking the carrier to court, says he has doubts on the airline’s argument.


““When jurors find out they’d actually been cautioned by engineers to ground the plane and they put it into commercial rotation instead, jurors will be more than mystified — they’ll be angry,” Lindquist told the newspaper.


Read the full report on The New York Times website.


Feature image courtesy: Nick Dean/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Source: frugal travel guy

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