Crucial bolts were MISSING from door plug that blew off Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX plane mid-flight – in clearest evidence yet of major manufacturing flaw, damning new report reveals

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Written By Maya Cantina

Bolts appear to be missing from the door plug that blew out of a Boeing 737 MAX during an Alaska Airlines flight last month, investigators said on Tuesday.

The preliminary report on the incident from the National Transportation Safety Board offered the clearest evidence yet that a significant manufacturing error led to the near-tragedy.

The Flight 1282 blowout on January 5 as the plane took off from Portland, Oregon left a gaping hole in the side of the aircraft, and prompted wide-ranging federal investigations into Boeing’s production process.

The new report finds that four retaining bolts intended to prevent vertical movement of the door plug appear to have been missing at the time of the incident. 

That finding was based on a careful analysis of the aircraft and parts recovered from the ground.

Bolts appear to be missing from the door plug that blew out of a Boeing 737 MAX during an Alaska Airlines flight last month, investigators said on Tuesday

‘Overall, the observed damage patterns and absence of contact damage or deformation around holes associated with the vertical movement arrestor bolts and upper guide track bolts in the upper guide fittings, hinge fittings, and recovered aft lower hinge guide fitting indicate that the four bolts that prevent upward movement of the [door] plug were missing before the [door] plug moved upward off the stop pads,’ the report says.

Developing story, more to follow. 

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