Report: Missing Bolts Caused Alaska Airlines' Mid-Air Door Blowout

    Report: Missing Bolts Caused Alaska Airlines' Mid-Air Door Blowout
    Photo: NTSB/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Four bolts that help secure the door plug of a Boeing 737 Max 9 were missing when an Alaska Airlines flight blew out mid-air last month, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday.

    • In its 19-page preliminary report, the NTSB said the faulty door plug was opened to repair damaged rivets on the plane's fuselage at Boeing's factory in September 2023.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Boeing has taken full responsibility for the mid-air emergency and continues to work closely with the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Authority to implement measures to improve safety and quality. Several new checks and quality control inspections have already been implemented to ensure this type of fault doesn't occur again.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's completely unthinkable that these planes can still fly, given the types of issues being reported. As an analogy, if you had a car that had a piece fly off while driving, prompting you to take it to a mechanic, and the mechanic says, "Here you go. The car is fixed. We found other problems, but you can still take it out on the road," you would be scratching your head.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 16% chance that there will be a commercial service to travel between London and New York City in under three hours before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter