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We’re about to get investigators’ first report on the Alaska Airlines flight whose door plug blew off

by Staff

NTSB/Handout/Getty Images

Members of the NTSB examine the hole in the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.



CNN
 — 

The National Transportation Safety Board will release its preliminary report Tuesday on last month’s blowout of a part of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 flight, NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss told CNN.

On a January 5 Alaska flight 1282, the door plug blew off the side of the plane. The door plug fills a space in the fuselage that can otherwise contain an emergency exit door when plane seats are arranged a certain way. The incident led the Federal Aviation Administration to ground Boeing 737 Max 9s in the United States for 19 days and to announce sweeping changes to how it oversees production of commercial aircraft.

CNN has reported that NTSB investigators have been closely scrutinizing the door plug and whether crucial bolts that hold it in place were properly installed when the incident occurred.

NTSB preliminary reports do not determine the cause of incidents but can reveal key facts about what took place.

Meanwhile, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration will tell House lawmakers Tuesday that his agency is “closely scrutinizing” Boeing after last month’s door plug blowout.

“Going forward, we will have more boots on the ground closely scrutinizing and monitoring production and manufacturing activities,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker will say in prepared remarks shared with CNN.

Whitaker will appear before the House aviation subcommittee, his first congressional testimony since being confirmed to the post little more than three months ago.

Monday, the FAA told reporters it has started developing a plan for “re-imagined oversight” of Boeing as agency inspectors are performing “nose to tail, wingtip to wingtip” inspections of work on Boeing’s 737 Max assembly line in Renton, Washington.

“Boeing employees are encouraged to use our FAA hotline to report any safety concerns,” Whitaker will tell lawmakers. “And we will consider the full extent of our enforcement authority to ensure Boeing is held accountable for any non-compliance.”

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