Boeing’s subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems repeatedly warned of ‘excessive’ defects in the Alaska Airlines door plug that blew out at 16,000ft and nearly caused worst air disaster in 22 years

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina
  • Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 suffered a near-catastrophic failure on Friday when its door plug fell out and the flight was forced into an emergency landing
  • A class-action lawsuit was filed against Spirit AeroSystems, the maker of the door, on December 19 that alleged it experienced ‘sustained quality failures’
  • It was filed on behalf of investors of the company, which was previously a manufacturing unit of Boeing until 2005

The Boeing subcontractor that manufactured the door plug that blew out at 16,000 feet during an Alaska Airlines flight was warned of an ‘excessive amount of defects,’ according to a lawsuit days before the fateful flight. 

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 suffered a near-catastrophic failure on Friday when its door plug fell out and the plane was forced into an emergency landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board recovered the door in the backyard of a suburban home in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday.

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Spirit AeroSystems in New York federal court on December 19 that alleged it experienced ‘sustained quality failures’ in its products.

The suit was filed on behalf of investors of the company, which was previously a manufacturing unit of Boeing until 2005.

The lawsuit filed against Spirit AeroSystems alleges the company had manufacturing problems and includes a complaint from one employee who claimed there was an ‘excessive amount of defects’ in an email sent to a company executive. 

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 suffered a near catastrophic failure on Friday when its door plug suddenly fell out and it was forced into an emergency landing

A Boeing subcontractor which manufactured the door plug that blew out 16,000 feet in the air during a flight was warned of an 'excessive amount of defects,' according to a new lawsuit

A Boeing subcontractor which manufactured the door plug that blew out 16,000 feet in the air during a flight was warned of an ‘excessive amount of defects,’ according to a new lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Spirit AeroSystems, led by CEO Patrick Shanahan (pictured), in New York federal court on December 19 that alleged it experienced 'sustained quality failures' in its products

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Spirit AeroSystems, led by CEO Patrick Shanahan (pictured), in New York federal court on December 19 that alleged it experienced ‘sustained quality failures’ in its products

Although the complaints do not specifically refer to door plugs, it alleges that Spirit’s ‘quality failures were so severe and persistent that Boeing even placed Spirit on probation for multiple years.’

The lawsuit adds the problems at the company were ‘widespread’ and included ‘the routine presence of foreign object debris in Spirit products, missing fasteners, peeling paint, and poor skin quality.’ 

DailyMail.com has contacted Spirit and Boeing for comment on the lawsuit. 

‘Spirit is following the protocols set by the regulatory authorities that guide communication in these types of circumstances, and we will share further information when appropriate,’ the company said in a statement on its webpage about the Alaska Airlines incident.  

Flight 1282 suffered a near-fatal incident after its door plug was sucked out of the Boeing 737 Max 9 moments after it departed Portland International Airport for Ontario, California.

Both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, which are the only two US carriers to fly the aircraft revealed they found loose bolts inside several other door plugs on their fleets.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the grounding of 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircrafts with a plug door on Saturday.

It issued a further update on Tuesday to say they would remain grounded until it finds each can safely return to operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board recovered the door in the backyard of a suburban home in Portland on Sunday

The National Transportation Safety Board recovered the door in the backyard of a suburban home in Portland on Sunday 

The agency's investigators are examining the door plug and will send it to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC, for further examination

The agency’s investigators are examining the door plug and will send it to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC, for further examination

A photo shows the frame of the prospective door was entirely ripped out by the fuselage failure

A photo shows the frame of the prospective door was entirely ripped out by the fuselage failure  

The lawsuit claims that Spirit heavily relies on Boeing for orders and manufactures a large amount of the aircraft company’s jet fuselages. 

‘Such constant quality failures resulted in part from Spirit’s culture which prioritized production numbers and short-term financial outcomes over product quality,’ it claimed. 

Spirit suffered two specific manufacturing problems, according to the complaint. 

The company allegedly ‘mis-drilled holes on the 737 Max aft pressure bulkhead,’ which is at the back of the plane.

A second issue involved a ‘defect relating to the tail fin fittings on certain 737 MAX aircraft’ that was highlighted by Boeing in April.

Spirit saw its stock price take a plunge following its manufacturing problems and it overhauled its executives. 

It named Patrick Shanahan as its new CEO, replacing Thomas C. Gentile III, who had been in the role since 2016 and was named as a defendant in the class-action lawsuit.

In a statement shared to X on Saturday, federal regulators said it is requiring immediate inspections of certain jets before they can return to the skies

In a statement shared to X on Saturday, federal regulators said it is requiring immediate inspections of certain jets before they can return to the skies

The flight that was set out to arrive at Ontario International in California turned back around after the plug door came off on Friday night

The flight that was set out to arrive at Ontario International in California turned back around after the plug door came off on Friday night 

Terrified passengers were left fearing for their lives on Friday after the door plug fell. After recovering the damaged Alaska Airlines door, NTSB said on X: ‘NTSB investigators are currently examining the door plug and will send it to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC for further examination.’

Boeing shares had the biggest plunge in over a year on Monday, losing a whopping $13.5billion off its value in the first day of trading after the mid-air Alaska Airlines blowout.

‘We are committed to ensuring every Boeing airplane meets design specifications and the highest safety and quality standards,’ a Boeing spokesperson said.  

The near disaster saw Boeing Corp shares plummet 8.6 percent – from 248 to 228 – between Friday evening and Monday morning. The stock continued to plunge after the market opened, reaching 226 – and analysts warned it is expected to continue falling until the aircrafts are back in service.

Meanwhile Alaska Air’s shares fell 4.3 percent, while United Airlines shares, the other U.S. carrier that operates the jet, dropped 2.4 percent. 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

Leave a Comment

shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw shw