US Regulators Claim Boeing Jets will Remain Grounded Indefinitely

( – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is conducting an in-depth examination of Boeing’s manufacturing practices in response to troubling issues with its 737 Max 9 aircraft. This move comes after an Alaska Airlines flight experienced a mid-air fuselage blowout. The incident, coupled with subsequent inspections revealing loose bolts and other problems, has incited outrage and led to the grounding of most of the 737 Max 9 fleet in the United States.

In a statement, the FAA declared, “This mistake should have never happened, and it cannot happen again,” emphasizing the necessity for Boeing to demonstrate strict adherence to stringent safety standards with no room for compromise.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that passengers deserve absolute certainty about the aircraft’s safety before any reauthorization for flight. He stated that hundreds of canceled flights will remain grounded until the thorough review is complete, leaving no room for expediency.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun described the incident as a “quality escape,” referring to an issue slipping through quality control on the ill-fated Portland flight. He expressed bewilderment about how such a scenario could occur with a plane barely eight weeks old and admitted to ongoing investigations into the incident’s exact cause.

Earlier this week, Calhoun took responsibility for the Alaska Airlines incident, labeling the fuselage blowout as a “manufacturing defect.” The missing door plug piece, later found in a backyard, underscored the severity of the situation.

The FAA responded promptly by grounding 171 Boeing jets equipped with the same faulty door plug, affecting airlines like Alaska and United. Both carriers have reported finding loose parts during inspections, with United precisely discovering bolts requiring tightening on the problematic door plug.

With hundreds of flights canceled daily and thousands of passengers stranded, pressure is mounting on Boeing to provide definitive answers and actionable solutions. Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci pledged to resume flights only after addressing all identified issues and meeting rigorous safety standards.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is actively investigating the Alaska Airlines incident to pinpoint the root cause and prevent similar occurrences. NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy acknowledged the possibility of missing bolts from the outset while also exploring the possibility of them detaching during the emergency descent.

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