US investigators recover key part from Alaska Airlines jet

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Sunday evening that the “missing key” of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 involved in the Alaska Airlines crash was found in a remote backyard.

The hatch door blew off the left side of an Alaska Airlines flight Friday as it flew from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, crashing the plane and forcing the pilots to turn around and boarded safely with 171 passengers and six crew members. don’t enter. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Saturday ordered the grounding of 171 Boeing MAX 9 single-panel aircraft, which weigh about 60 kilograms and cover the optional exit doors used by budget airlines. The missing pair was found Sunday by a Portland school teacher identified only as “Bob” in the Cedar Hills neighborhood who found it in his backyard, NTSB Chairman Jennifer Homendy said. said he was “very relieved” that he had been found.

He previously told reporters that parts of the plane were a “missing key” in determining the cause of the crash. “Our operations team will want to look at everything on the door – everything on the door to see the evidence, to check for any leaks, what the door looks like now. found him. He can tell them a lot about what happened,” he said. The force of the hatch door’s loss was strong enough to open the cockpit door during the flight, said Homendy, who said it must have been a “tremendous event” to witness.

“They heard the sound of music,” Homendy said of the pilots questioned by investigators. A quick reference went out the door, and the first officer lost his helmet, he said. “Conversation is a big problem… It is described as chaos. »

Homendy said the cockpit voice recorder did not release any data because it had been overwritten and called on regulators to order retrofitting of existing aircraft with recorders that could be released. 25 hours of data, from the two hours required. Past tense

Homendy said an automatic pressurization light was on on an Alaska Airlines flight on Dec. 7, Jan. 3 on Jan. 4, but it is unclear if there is a connection between those events and the accident.

Alaska Airlines made the decision after the warning to prevent the plane from making a long-haul flight to Hawaii so it could quickly return to the airport if necessary, Homendy said. The Seattle-based carrier previously said, in response to a question about the warning lights, that the details of the aircraft’s pressure system are typical of commercial and large aircraft operations.

The airline said that “in all cases, the report is thoroughly investigated and resolved according to approved procedures in compliance with all FAA regulations.”

Alaska Airlines added that it has an internal policy to prohibit aircraft with multiple maintenance complaints on certain systems during long flights over water, which the FAA does not require. The plane went down

The FAA said Sunday that the affected Boeing MAX 9 planes, including those of other airlines including United Airlines, will be grounded until air traffic controllers are satisfied they are safe.

The FAA initially said Saturday that an inspection would take four to eight hours, leading many in the industry to believe the plane could be returned to service sooner. But the inspection process still needs to be agreed upon between the FAA and Boeing, meaning airlines have yet to receive detailed instructions, people familiar with the matter said.

The FAA must approve Boeing’s inspection process before conducting inspections and the aircraft can resume flight. Alaska said late Sunday that it had not yet received instructions from Boeing.

Alaska Airlines canceled 170 flights on Sunday and another 60 on Monday and said it was expected to disrupt travel from ground stops through at least midweek. United, which grounded 79 MAX 9s, canceled 230 flights on Sunday, or 8% of planned departures.

The accident has put Boeing back on track as it awaits certification of the smaller MAX 7 and the larger MAX 10, which are needed to keep pace with Airbus models. In 2019, authorities worldwide grounded all MAX aircraft for 20 months after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia linked to faulty cockpit software killed a total of 346 people.

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