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Alaska Airlines 737-900 MAX loses a door in-flight out of PDX

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Alaska Airlines 737-900 MAX loses a door in-flight out of PDX

Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:25
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Was there a pressurization problem? High differential?
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:26
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Some thoughts

What we appear to know :
-low hr low cycle aircraft
​​​​-low pressure differential
-no passenger (fumbling) next to the door
-escape door blown out (photos from in and outside needed to know what went with it)…

What we do not exactly know in this thread or ever:
-the exact configuration(s) of a deactivated door and its mounting and cabin interior… (which includes the way it was designed AND engineered)…
-which configuration actually was in place ..
-the manufacturing and installation procedures, and if these have been changed much, and if there is a difference between the MAX 8,9,10,7…
- if procedures where followed (parts required, tooling required, could procedure be followed… did they (need) to force anything to install…)

The loss of Safety Culture and level of QC/QA standards at Boeing will take years to rebuild (consultants often use 10 years for that) … investigation in this failure may shed a light on if Boeing (and FAA) have really started with this process.

Last edited by A0283; 6th Jan 2024 at 10:58.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:34
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Looks that all hinge bolts are still there so they should be able to figure what happened without the missing door. Strange that the door blew so low with little pressure differential. There must have been something serious amiss. Not a crack or single bolt failure, more like no bolt nuts at all and hold in place by luck and paint.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:42
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Originally Posted by EDLB
Looks that all hinge bolts are still there so they should be able to figure what happened without the missing door. Strange that the door blew so low with little pressure differential. There must have been something serious amiss. Not a crack or single bolt failure, more like no bolt nuts at all and hold in place by luck and paint.
I don't think there are any hinges involved when the dummy door is fitted (obviously there are when it's an actual downwards-opening exit).

Looks like a pretty clean departure - those appear just to be seat trims/seat belts hanging out the opening:


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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:43
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My impression… they will need everything they can get their hands on … including the door…
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:46
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could save on airport aggro for skydivers, passing over your house 50km from the airport, just jump out and land on your front lawn. I've often wanted to do this when coming from US to Heathrow and going over my house in Leeds, just jump out now and skip the 200mile/5 hour train ride home...
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:47
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Would be interesting to have a photo by a spotter or even better of a passenger entering during boarding… to see if the door was flush with the skin…
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:47
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Originally Posted by EDLB
Looks that all hinge bolts are still there so they should be able to figure what happened without the missing door. Strange that the door blew so low with little pressure differential. There must have been something serious amiss. Not a crack or single bolt failure, more like no bolt nuts at all and hold in place by luck and paint.
In the photos I've seen so far there is no obvious damage other than some plastic and insulation. It looks like the door just fell out. The interior isn't even in disarray. One wonders how the plane could have flown at cruising altitude on earlier flights.

Looks like it arrived from JFK at ~230P and was back in the air at 506P. Before that it had been in the air every day since being parked at SEA the whole day of the 1st.

Indications of pressurization issues appeared on the 4th:

https://theaircurrent.com/feed/dispatches/alaska-737-max-9-that-lost-deactivated-exit-had-recent-pressurization-issues/

Last edited by remi; 6th Jan 2024 at 11:57.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:52
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
I don't think there are any hinges involved when the dummy door is fitted (obviously there are when it's an actual downwards-opening exit).

Looks like a pretty clean departure - those appear just to be seat trims/seat belts hanging out the opening:
Could the door have been damaged on the ground? Just looking at the white marks either side of the opening in the above photo.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 10:55
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Makes me think of a BAC 1-11 windscreen and wrong sized fastners. Looks a lot like an assembly issue and the panel was only held in wth sealant and incorrect fastners or several fastners missing.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 11:13
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I am really tired of this Boeing "Shareholder Value" Enterpri$e!
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 11:44
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Originally Posted by MechEngr
Putting on a speculators cap - there were fatigue cracks in the retaining features / fingers on the door. Had only one let go I would not expect the door to do more than leak loudly. But if several had cracks then when one finally crossed the finish line the rest go in a rapid cascade.
The bird was almost brand new. Improper installation would be my guess.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:06
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Originally Posted by A0283
The loss of Safety Culture and level of QC/QA standards at Boeing will take years to rebuild (consultants often use 10 years for that) … investigation in this failure may shed a light on if Boeing (and FAA) have really started with this process.
I would argue that dependance on consultants is a large part of the problem. Disposable personel that can take away the responsibility from management or (best case) take all their knowledge with them when they leave.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:07
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Footage in flight YT.


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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:12
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Originally Posted by JHPaulo
The bird was almost brand new. Improper installation would be my guess.
Unconfirmed reports that Alaskan had previously had to do work on the door.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:14
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Originally Posted by Auxtank
Footage in flight YT.
Ryanair would probably charge extra for the view.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:16
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Originally Posted by procede
I would argue that dependance on consultants is a large part of the problem. Disposable personel that can take away the responsibility from management or (best case) take all their knowledge with them when they leave.
Consultants never take away the responsibility of management. Managers decide.
Consultants bring knowledge and experience and are able to adapt to industry and company or come from them. Those that don’t should get a different label.

As far as I know in the whole 737MAX saga there have been no references to consultants….



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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:19
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Originally Posted by Auxtank
From that report: ":"They said there was a kid in that row who had his shirt was sucked off him and out of the plane and his mother was holding onto him to make sure he didn't go with it.""

This incident could easily have involved fatalities.


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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:20
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Originally Posted by DTA
Could the door have been damaged on the ground? Just looking at the white marks either side of the opening in the above photo.
The original photo from which I cropped that image shows that they are just reflections from the hangar lighting, visible all along the fuselage.
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Old 6th Jan 2024, 12:38
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Originally Posted by FUMR
Not much good if the seat you're in gets sucked out too!
Pretty sure that it's only the seat back cushion that's departed, in the first post's photo it looks like the seat frame itself is still there.

Still somewhat interesting that it could come loose like that; how are they attached, Velcro?
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