Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Accidents and Close Calls
Reload this Page >

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

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

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

Old 19th Jan 2024, 17:57
  #1121 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 15,974
Received 296 Likes on 151 Posts
The photo in post #1 (!) certainly doesn't look like there is any extra legroom in row 26.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:16
  #1122 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: U.S.
Posts: 84
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by roger4
It's not an emergency exit row.
It is now.

Last edited by lateott; 19th Jan 2024 at 18:17. Reason: typo
lateott is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:16
  #1123 (permalink)  
Too mean to buy a long personal title
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 1,974
Received 9 Likes on 5 Posts
Originally Posted by roger4
Why would you assume row 26 has extra leg room? It's not an emergency exit row.
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
The photo in post #1 (!) certainly doesn't look like there is any extra legroom in row 26.
Nor is extra legroom suggested by what is probably the best (and closest to true scale) seat map on the Internet: https://www.aerolopa.com/as-7m9
Globaliser is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:19
  #1124 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Scotland
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On SeatGuru, I left a review for seat 26A on flight AS1282. I said it was very drafty, but the window was enormous.

It's an excellent website for choosing your seat and it warns of particular seats that have limited or no recline and tables built into armrests that make the seat narrower.
Apparently, seat 10A on the 737-800 and 11A on the 737-900 do not have a window inAlaska Airline's configuration. The opposite seat does have a window. I wonder why.
MarineEngineer is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:20
  #1125 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: U.S.
Posts: 84
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WHBM
Before we get too carried away here with theoretical theories ...

- The flight's scheduled type was a smaller MAX-8, which was used on all preceding days. However, as this particular MAX-9 had been restricted from ETOPS flying, there was a switcharound, and it was used.
- The additional seat rows it provided were at the back, where the plug is. These rear seats were all completely unreserved when the aircraft switch was made.
- Most passengers in the USA select their seats at booking, which would be before the additional seats were known.
- The most favoured seats are forward, to be first out of the aircraft.
- In the USA, there is a notable preference for aisle seats. This may seem strange to Europeans, where there is more of a preference for window seats. Note the one passenger in the incident row was in the aisle seat.
- There were several seats which were vacant, not just these two. Likely they were all around this area.
There were 7 empty seats. A maximum of 4 empty seats were behind the incident row.

I covered this topic days ago.
lateott is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:26
  #1126 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 69
Posts: 4,541
Received 306 Likes on 148 Posts
Originally Posted by MarineEngineer
On SeatGuru, I left a review for seat 26A on flight AS1282. I said it was very drafty, but the window was enormous.

It's an excellent website for choosing your seat and it warns of particular seats that have limited or no recline and tables built into armrests that make the seat narrower.
Apparently, seat 10A on the 737-800 and 11A on the 737-900 do not have a window inAlaska Airline's configuration. The opposite seat does have a window. I wonder why.
While not the only reason, seat rows without windows are often because ECS ducts run down the sidewall there.
tdracer is online now  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:27
  #1127 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Apple Maggot Quarantine Area
Age: 47
Posts: 101
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's been pointed out that this is not an emergency exit row, but it does have a misaligned window spacing due to the extra space taken up by the hidden door frame. Is it possible that Alaska typically assigns this row last to mitigate complaints about "I paid extra for this window seat and all I see is sidewall?"

Also regarding empty emergency row seats - in the USA most all airlines, including Alaska, charge a significant premium to pre-select an exit row seat, and many people find that the $150 extra charge is not worth the result of getting slightly more legroom in exchange for slightly reduced hip and shoulder room, and a lumpy seat that won't recline. So I have frequently been on trips with partially or totally empty exit rows.
slacktide is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:42
  #1128 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: U.S.
Posts: 84
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by lateott
There were 7 empty seats. A maximum of 4 empty seats were behind the incident row.

I covered this topic days ago.
Check that, a maximum of 2 empty seats behind the incident row.
  • 7 empty seats total
  • 2 unknown
  • 2 were 26A and 26B
  • at least 3 were forward of row 25 because 25ABC occupants were relocated forward:
    • "The flight attendant helped them find new seats. The boy was placed in a middle seat about four rows ahead of row 25 and on the other side of the plane from the hole. Faye and her seatmate were seated together eight to 10 rows ahead of him."
    • https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...ht-to-her-son/

Of course, NTSB and Alaska know all the details, but we are temporarily forced to reconstruct these things from crumbs and tea leaves.
lateott is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 18:48
  #1129 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: U.S.
Posts: 84
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by slacktide
It's been pointed out that this is not an emergency exit row, but it does have a misaligned window spacing due to the extra space taken up by the hidden door frame. Is it possible that Alaska typically assigns this row last to mitigate complaints about "I paid extra for this window seat and all I see is sidewall?"

Also regarding empty emergency row seats - in the USA most all airlines, including Alaska, charge a significant premium to pre-select an exit row seat, and many people find that the $150 extra charge is not worth the result of getting slightly more legroom in exchange for slightly reduced hip and shoulder room, and a lumpy seat that won't recline. So I have frequently been on trips with partially or totally empty exit rows.
The window isn't only for the view. People also select window seats to be sure they are not in physical contact with more than 1 stranger. I would take any window or aisle seat, even in the back row, over any middle seat, regardless of whether it had a view. It lets me lean toward the wall.
lateott is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 19:00
  #1130 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 15,974
Received 296 Likes on 151 Posts
Originally Posted by slacktide
It's been pointed out that this is not an emergency exit row, but it does have a misaligned window spacing due to the extra space taken up by the hidden door frame. Is it possible that Alaska typically assigns this row last to mitigate complaints about "I paid extra for this window seat and all I see is sidewall?"
Airlines' seat pitch is rarely constrained by the frame (window) spacing, for obvious reasons. Having a window perfectly aligned with your seat is never something to be taken for granted.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 19:09
  #1131 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Florida
Posts: 259
Received 10 Likes on 3 Posts
I am sure the NTSB knows whether those seats were off limits on the seat map. And if they were, that opens up some issues for the carrier. What issues did this plane have while it was continued to be used for revenue flights? The fact that the airframe was taken off the ETOPS roster because of the repeated pressure warning lights means that there was a certain degree of mistrust at play here. As Joe Kernan said on CNBC, how can an airliner deemed to be not safe to fly to Hawaii be good to fly to Ontario?

Has the carrier or the NTSB been directly asked as to whether those seats were blocked? Would you block A and B but not C? We sure have spent an inordinate amount of discussion on these seats being unoccupied including mathematical analysis far beyond my ability to comprehend.
Lake1952 is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 19:24
  #1132 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Scotland
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The plane was taken off ETOPs to be within three hours of an airport. This was AA being ultra cautious. It was due to there being multiple write ups for maintenance, not specifically because of the pressurisation controller faults.
MarineEngineer is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 22:08
  #1133 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 79
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Airlines' seat pitch is rarely constrained by the frame (window) spacing, for obvious reasons. Having a window perfectly aligned with your seat is never something to be taken for granted.
Unfortunately, not obvious to all. As a lessor, I once had a lessee airline customer ask if all the windows could be repositioned to line up with the seat rows as shown in a Boeing supplied LOPA !
Mach2point7 is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 22:26
  #1134 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 15,974
Received 296 Likes on 151 Posts
Originally Posted by Lake1952
I am sure the NTSB knows whether those seats were off limits on the seat map. And if they were, that opens up some issues for the carrier. What issues did this plane have while it was continued to be used for revenue flights? The fact that the airframe was taken off the ETOPS roster because of the repeated pressure warning lights means that there was a certain degree of mistrust at play here. As Joe Kernan said on CNBC, how can an airliner deemed to be not safe to fly to Hawaii be good to fly to Ontario?

Has the carrier or the NTSB been directly asked as to whether those seats were blocked? Would you block A and B but not C? We sure have spent an inordinate amount of discussion on these seats being unoccupied including mathematical analysis far beyond my ability to comprehend.
If all else fails, we could just wait to see what the NTSB says.

But where's the fun in that ... ?
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 23:23
  #1135 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Munich
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
do you trust the NTSB in this respect?
headshrink is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2024, 23:47
  #1136 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 838
Received 18 Likes on 9 Posts
Originally Posted by OldnGrounded
I think we've seen photos or video of the NTSB investigators doing just that. (Checking the right-side plug) I'll search, unless someone remembers where those can be found.
See ImbracableCrunk's post of the NTSB B roll at #388. Given the statements by the NTSB cited above, they clearly looked behind the interior panels.
OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2024, 00:08
  #1137 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 193
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by MarineEngineer
If Alaska suspected the door plug was unsafe, do you really think they would block two seats on the left, but not on the right? If they had had noise complaints I'm pretty sure Alaska would not have left the plug uninspected. The risks to passengers and the company's reputation are just too great.
It would be complete, suicidal corporate insanity to put passengers into a plane, in any seat, or fly that plane at all, if there was even the slightest well founded suspicion that there was a pressurization leak. In Russia, sure. Alaska, after 261, not even a remote possibility that passengers would be exposed to a suspected risk with any real foundation.

Seriously folks get a grip. No domestic carrier, especially Alaska, is going to make a plane with a "leaky door plug" "safe" by removing two (not three!!!) passengers from that row.

"Oh that row has this annoying draft and squealing sound, we blocked it off. Well, 2/3 blocked it off."

Nor is anyone going to fly a plane that has any real indication of pressurization problems, as in, a measured loss of pressure or failure to maintain expected cabin altitude climb/decent profile. That planes not going anywhere except to maintenance.

People play roulette and win on 23. So did the passengers who missed their connection.

Dismiss this scenario from your mind.
remi is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2024, 00:15
  #1138 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 193
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by MarineEngineer
The plane was taken off ETOPs to be within three hours of an airport. This was AA being ultra cautious. It was due to there being multiple write ups for maintenance, not specifically because of the pressurisation controller faults.
I assure you there was absolutely no indication at all that there was a detectable problem maintaining the expected cabin altitude on its expected schedule. It's straight lunacy to put an aircraft in the air in that state.

And, again, in what universe other than "Soviet Russia" would an airline mitigate a "leaky door plug" by blocking off the two seats nearest the window? Think about what you're saying. What logic brings an airline to do that?

(PS to be clear I'm agreeing 👍 with your sentiment)
remi is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2024, 04:39
  #1139 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Surrey UK
Age: 75
Posts: 236
Received 7 Likes on 6 Posts
ETOPS

ETOPS, In early 1980's I was the Techy on a committee for an Asian Airline which had purchased B767-ER's and had thought that was all they needed to go ETOPS. From my side I had to demonstrate the control of defects carried by the aircraft was closely monitored such, that for example a normally MEL item, lets say the APU, which might be taking several attempts to start (cold soak condition) on an aircraft, would not depart on an ETOPS flight until the problem was solved and it had operated on a standard flight (or several flights) without occurrence of the problem.
Along with defects, the oil consumption of main engines and the APU was monitored closely; in those days, communication with Base was mostly by SITA telexes and Station Engineers would have to rush back to the office to one finger type the debrief message.
No doubt Alaska had pulled this aircraft off 180 minute ETOPS for some repeat defect or MEL reasons which did not impact a standard flight.
aeromech3 is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2024, 07:24
  #1140 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gloucestershire
Age: 77
Posts: 141
Received 32 Likes on 6 Posts
Homendy Briefing 18th Jan

"He (Calhoun) called me and said they've made errors in the past, and they want to rectify that," she said. "Great, but my focus is less on the executive team and more on what happened here with this aircraft"

Homendy said the NTSB will move next week onto destructive testing of the door plug, or testing to the exact point of failure. So far the investigation has not been able to establish whether the door plug was outfitted with the four bolts that prevent it from vertical movement, but Homendy said it is too early to say whether the root cause was missing or wrongly installed bolts.

"We're also looking at the seal. We're looking at, was there any sort of structural flexing of the aircraft?" she said. "It may not be bolts.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aer...st-2024-01-18/
SRMman is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.