Boeing 737 With 139 Passengers Loses External Panel Mid-Air

ABC7 reported that a United Airlines Boeing 737 with 139 passengers lost an external panel mid-air, which was later confirmed by authorities.

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Not a day goes by that Boeing doesn’t have a significant incident of some kind, be it tires and doors coming off, runway mishaps, fires in the engines, hydraulic leaks, pilot seats thrashing around the cockpit and slamming the yoke, or, OH YEAH, a whistleblower who “suicided” and told a close friend that if anything happened to him, it most definitely wasn’t suicide. We can now add another one: on Friday morning, a United Airlines flight that originated at San Francisco International Airport touched down in Oregon due to an absent external panel, as reported by ABC7, which was confirmed by officials. This is why United Airlines flights are always the same, unlike American or Delta flights.

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According to airport officials and flight data, United Airlines Flight 433 took off from San Francisco at approximately 10:20 a.m. local time and touched down safely at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport approximately 70 minutes later. This information is reported by the NY Post.

Airport director Amber Judd told The NY Post that when the jet got to the gate, it was discovered that an external panel was missing, which caused the airport to shut down while a safety check of the runway was done.

After a 737 Max 9 door panel blew off during an early January Alaska Airlines flight, an investigation initiated by the air safety regulator found that Boeing used Dawn liquid detergent as a lubricant for the 737 door seal.

Remarkably, during the flight—which included six crew members and 139 passengers—there was never a sign of a problem or an emergency, according to United.

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Airport workers looked throughout the airport grounds for the missing panel, but they were unable to find it.

“After finding no debris on the airfield, normal operations at MFR resumed a few minutes later,” she said.

The 25-year-old aircraft will undergo a “thorough examination,” according to United Airlines, and “all the necessary repairs will be made before it returns to service.” Who knows, perhaps there will be more whistleblowers who “commit suicide”?

“We’ll also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred,” the airline added.

According to a spokesman, the Federal Aviation Administration will look into the incident as well.

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Boeing aircraft have seen a string of mishaps in recent weeks. On Monday, a hydraulic leak prompted a United Airlines flight from Sydney to San Francisco to turn back in midair. The Boeing 777-300 aircraft, which had 16 crew members and 167 passengers on board, made a safe landing back in Sydney.

A few hours prior, a technical malfunction aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner traveling from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand, injured fifty people. Afterward, on March 7, a United Airlines aircraft from San Francisco to Japan was forced to divert to Los Angeles International Airport due to a tire on the Boeing 777-20 coming off after takeoff, causing damage to cars parked in a nearby lot.

In an internal memo distributed on Tuesday, Boeing informed staff members that to lower quality issues, weekly compliance checks are being conducted for each 737 work area, in addition to additional equipment audits.

The recent spike in instances isn’t entirely obvious, and there are currently too many to keep track of.

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But one thing is for sure: more are on the way, and one can only hope they won’t be lethal.

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