Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 Loses An Exit Door and Makes Emergency Landing

by Anthony Losanno
Alaska Plane Photo

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Alaska Airlines flight AS1282 from Portland International Airport (PDX) to Ontario International Airport (ONT) was forced to return shortly after takeoff when its rear mid-cabin exit door separated. The dramatic scene saw a large section of the airplane’s fuselage missing while passengers’ phones and even a teenager’s shirt got sucked out of the opening.

AS 1282

The flight ended up cancelled due to the severity of the damage.

Alaska Airlines confirmed that the flight safely landed with no injuries reported for any of the 171 passengers and six crew members onboard.

Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NSB) are all
investigating what could have potentially happened to the aircraft. When the panel blew off, it caused rapid decompression in the cabin. Oxygen masks were deployed and multiple passengers put them on as the aircraft made an emergency landing.

While some passengers lost their phones, others were able to capture video of the scary situation. With how full flights have been recently, it’s incredible that there was no passenger seated in seat 26A where the greatest impact was felt. With 171 passengers onboard, only seven were unoccupied. While Alaska Airlines has this aircraft configured with 178 seats, other carriers pack it denser. In those cases, the exit door is left viable as it would be needed in case of an emergency. When the configuration has less seats, it’s permanently plugged and not required. It’s unknown how the plug and door were ripped off.

The aircraft is new and arrived at Alaska Airlines in October 2023. It flew from New York John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Portland International Airport (PDX) earlier in the day without incident.

Anthony’s Take: This is the stuff of nightmares. Thankfully, all of the passengers and crew landed safely and without injury. It will be fascinating to see what this investigation uncovers here.

(Featured Image Credit: KPTV.)

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