FAA Orders Temporary Grounding of 171 Boeing Jets over Panel Issues


  • The FAA has mandated a temporary halt on 171 Boeing jets equipped with the same panel that detached from a barely eight weeks old Alaska Airlines jet last Friday. This necessitated an emergency landing due to a hull gap.
  • Subsequent to the incident in Portland, Oregon, during a flight destined for Ontario, California, the pilots pivoted and landed safely with all 171 passengers and six crew members.
  • Adita Irawati, the transport ministry spokesperson, stated that the three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft that belonged to Indonesia were grounded from January 6, until the matter was thoroughly investigated.
  • The Lion Air aircraft had “mid cabin emergency exit door type II” relative to the “mid exit door plug” on the Alaska Airlines plane thereby ensuring that the emergency door system could potentially be used for evacuation.

Details of the Grounding

The FAA in the U.S. has imposed a temporal grounding on 171 Boeing aircraft that were fitted with the same panel that detached from an Alaska Airlines flight that was just eight weeks old. The occurrence on Friday forced an emergency landing as there was a gap in the plane’s bodywork.

On their flight from Portland, Oregon to Ontario, California, a door plug was blown off the Alaska Airlines aircraft’s left side right after takeoff. This necessitated the pilots to urgently turnaround and make a safe landing with all 171 flyers and six crew members.

Indonesian Planes Grounded

The transport ministry spokesperson, Adita Irawati, stated that Indonesia’s three Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes were grounded from January 6, until further scrutiny. It was shared that while the Lion Air aircraft had a “mid cabin emergency exit door type II,” the Alaska Airlines plane possessed a “mid exit door plug.”

Adita further added that “This illustrates the system in the middle section of emergency doors were functional and could be utilized for evacuation.”

Operational Safety the Priority

With a commitment towards prioritizing operational safety, the ministry will align with the FAA, Boeing, and Lion Air to keep the situation monitored. Concurrently, an additional inspection is being conducted by Lion Air to confirm the flawless functioning of the emergency door system.

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