Alaska Airlines passengers SUE Boeing after horror flight where door plug blew out at 16,000 feet as FAA launches investigation into incident ‘that never should have happened’

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Six Alaska Airlines passengers and a family member of a passenger have sued Boeing after the plug door flew off of Flight 1282 on Friday night
  • The suit claims that they are owed compensation for injuries that were sustained during the incident
  • Boeing 737 Max 9 took off from Portland , Oregon, bound for California, when just 20 minutes later the door plug blew out at 16,000 feet and fell to the earth

Six Alaska Airlines passengers have sued Boeing after their horror flight where a door plug blew out at 16,000ft, forcing a dramatic emergency landing in Oregon. 

A family member of one of the passengers that was onboard Flight 1282 joined the class-action lawsuit in King County Superior Court in Seattle on Thursday. 

The suit claims that they are owed compensation for injuries that were sustained during the incident. 

‘Although everyone is glad that the blowout occurred while the crew could still manage to land the aircraft safely, this nightmare experience has caused economic, physical and ongoing emotional consequences that have understandably deeply affected our clients, and is one more disturbing mark on the troubled 737-MAX series aircraft,’ attorney Daniel Laurence who is representing the passengers said in a statement. 

Boeing told DailyMail.com: ‘We have nothing to add,’ when asked about the lawsuit. 

Six Alaska Airlines passengers have sued Boeing after their horror flight where a door plug blew out at 16,000ft, forcing a dramatic emergency landing in Oregon

The missing door panel was found on Sunday night in High school physics teacher Bob Sauer's back yard. It has since been taken back to a NTSB lab in Washington for further examination

The missing door panel was found on Sunday night in High school physics teacher Bob Sauer’s back yard. It has since been taken back to a NTSB lab in Washington for further examination

In a previous statement, the manufacturer said that it is ‘committed to ensuring every Boeing airplane meets design specifications and the highest safety and quality standards.’

‘We regret the impact this has had on our customers and their passengers,’ Boeing said on Monday. 

Boeing 737 Max 9 took off from Portland, Oregon, bound for California on Friday night, when just 20 minutes later its door ‘plug’ blew out at 16,000 feet and fell to the earth. 

The plane was forced to make a harrowing emergency landing as passengers believed they were saying their final goodbyes to loved ones.

There were 171 passengers and six crew on board the flight when the part fell from the plane.  

Federal officials spent days looking for the lost parts of the plane to help in their investigation. Authorities also ordered similar planes be grounded while they investigated.

The missing door plug was found by a Portland high school physics teacher Bob Sauer, 64, on Sunday night in his backyard, days after the incident. 

Sauer said he took a flashlight to his tree-filled yard that night when he saw ‘something gleaming white underneath the trees in the back that isn’t normally there,’ he told Reuters on Monday.

Alaska flight 1282 left Portland just after 5pm Friday when a window blew out at 16,000 feet and federal investigators are now trying to hunt down the missing piece

Alaska flight 1282 left Portland just after 5pm Friday when a window blew out at 16,000 feet and federal investigators are now trying to hunt down the missing piece 

Bob Sauer found the missing door in his backyard and said that the tree it was caught in acted like an air bag and that he didn't think it was damaged from the fall

Bob Sauer found the missing door in his backyard and said that the tree it was caught in acted like an air bag and that he didn’t think it was damaged from the fall 

He had found the 26-by-46 inch, 63 pound panel known as a mid-cabin door plug that is used to replace an exit often installed on planes configured to carry more passengers.

The panel has been sent to a NTSB lab in Washington for further examination, the agency said. 

Sauer, a science teacher at the Catlin Gabel School whose students had just been learning about the physics principles of impulse and momentum, said his trees had acted like an air bag.

‘I don’t think the door was damaged at all by the fall,’ he said.

Sauer also said that he was out when the door plug would have landed so he didn’t hear anything. 

In a separate interview with Good Morning America, Sauer said that he was careful not to touch the plug before the NTSB arrived. 

Investigators had originally asked for help finding the door plug after the incident, and said they believed it was in Cedar Hills – the location it was eventually found. Cedar Hills is located in Washington County, Oregon, which is about seven miles west of Portland.  

The missing door was found around the same time Alaska Airlines announced it canceled 170 flights on Sunday and another 60 on Monday so investigators can inspect the aircraft. 

It was later found that the aircraft was banned from long-distance flights over water after a cabin pressure warning light illuminated on three prior flights. 

According to reports, pilots had noted that warning lights had flashed to indicate some loss of cabin pressure, but Alaska Airlines said they were written up and resolved ‘per approved maintenance procedures,’ according to the Seattle Times. 

A photo shows the blown out area. It is offered as a door on the aircraft. Alaska chose not to take this option - although the frame of the prospective door was entirely ripped out by the fuselage failure

A photo shows the blown out area. It is offered as a door on the aircraft. Alaska chose not to take this option – although the frame of the prospective door was entirely ripped out by the fuselage failure  

One of the missing cellphones was found by video game designer Sean Bates who said that he picked it up while out for a walk. The phone displayed an email with an Alaska Airlines baggage receipt on it

One of the missing cellphones was found by video game designer Sean Bates who said that he picked it up while out for a walk. The phone displayed an email with an Alaska Airlines baggage receipt on it

Federal investigators also said the in-flight voice recorder data has been lost as it was not reset within a two-hour window after the emergency landing. 

Cockpit voice recorder’s can be found on all aircrafts and is there to capture the flight crew’s voices and all sounds in the cockpit. 

According to the NTSB website, the device is capable of recording up to 25 hours and is re-set every two hours. Because the it was not re-set in time, it is unknown what was said at the time of the emergency. 

National Transportation Safety Board investigators have hailed the miracle that all of the passengers and crew members on board the Boeing 737-9 Max survived.

Sunday was the first day that investigators fully examined the bizarre event that left one person with non-life-threatening injuries and forced Alaskan Airlines to ground dozens of its Boeing 737-9 MAX jets for urgent safety checks. 

Several other airlines have also made the decision to ground aircrafts of that model as critics have pointed to other deadly crashes and system failures involving the type of jet in recent years. 

Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board said the blow-out at 16,000ft was an 'accident, not an incident'

Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board said the blow-out at 16,000ft was an ‘accident, not an incident’

Its catastrophic failure depressurized the cabin, with the force of the air ripping the shirt off a young boy, whose mom was seen holding onto him. Passengers also watched as their phones were sucked out into the night sky.

One of the missing cellphones was found by video game designer Sean Bates who said that he picked it up while out for a walk. In a series of posts on X, Bates said that the intact iPhone was still in airplane mode and had half of its battery life left.

When Bates found the phone it displayed an email with an Alaska Airlines baggage receipt on it. 

Bates added that when he contacted the National Transportation and Safety Bureau, he was told that it was the second such phone to have been found. 

He went on to post pictures that showed the charger plug was still in the phone, indicating that it was yanked out. 

 

 

 

 

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