DGCA orders thorough inspection Boeing 737 Max planes in India

One of emergency doors of Alaska Airlines’ flight of Boeing 737 Max 9 make got blew out in California on Monday soon after the take off, raising serious question over safety of passengers

Boeing 737 Max

New Delhi: Days after one of emergency doors of Boeing’s 737 Max 9 aircraft of Alaska Airlines blew out mid air in America, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered thorough inspection of all the aircraft of Boeing 737 model in India also. In an immediate scrutiny, the washer was missing in one of the 40 Boeing 737 Max aircraft currently operating in India.

On Wednesday, the DGCA in a statement said, “These aircraft (Boeing 737 Max 9) are with Air India Express, SpiceJet and Akasa Air. No defects were found on 39 planes, but a washer was found mission in one Boeing 737 Max aircraft. After this, necessary steps have been taken as per Boeing’s guidelines.”

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Earlier on Monday, United Airlines, a US-based airline company, had said that it had found loose bolts in the panels of several Boeing 737 aircraft in its fleet. According to a news agency, till now bolts of 10 planes have been found loose. Due to this, an incident like opening of the plane’s door in the sky could have happened again. The loose bolts found on United Airlines planes are called plugs.

These are located near the chairs near the emergency door. In fact, after the Alaska Airlines incident, United Airlines did a complete inspection by opening the seats and side walls of its Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft.

Alaska Airlines was warned about cabin pressure

According to the New York Times, Alaska Airlines, whose one of its flights’ door go uprooted in the mid-air on Friday, had been warning about cabin pressure problems for the past three weeks. It is currently being investigated whether this was the reason why the emergency exit door of the plane was blown out. Actually, commercial planes fly at an altitude of 33 thousand to 42 thousand feet.

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Above 33 thousand feet in the sky the air is very cold and thin. That means the air particles are very small. This is the reason why cabin of the flight experience highly pressurized. At higher altitudes, people do not have trouble breathing due to lower oxygen levels.

Major accidents due to door opening during flight

In 2018 on October 29, a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft took off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Indonesia. It was to go to Pangkal Pinang, a small town in Indonesia, at 7:20 pm. But it did not happen. A few minutes after take off, the plane’s crew contacted air traffic control (ITC) and asked for permission to return to Jakarta.

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At this time the plane was flying at an altitude of 5 thousand feet. After this the plane neither issued an emergency alert nor returned. Contact with the plane was lost at 6:32 pm. The plane rapidly fell into the Java Sea within 11 minutes of takeoff. 189 people died in this accident.

Five months later on March 10 in 2019, An Ethiopian airline flight also met with the same fate. The clock read 6:38 in the morning. The weather was absolutely clear in Addis Ababa city of Ethiopia. Then Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 from Bole International Airport takes off for Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. One minute after take off, on the orders of the captain, the first officer informs the control tower about the flight control problem.

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After two-minutes of take off, the plane suddenly tilts forward in the air. The plane starts flying upward and sometimes downwards. After 3 minutes, the pilot asks the first officer to ask for permission to return from ATC.

Contact with the aircraft is lost soon after. The plane falls at a speed of 700 miles per hour and crashes. Like Indonesia, this aircraft was also a Max 8 jet of Boeing Company’s 737 series. There were 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board.

How fast the plane came down can also be gauged from the fact that it left a 90 feet wide and 120 feet long crater on the ground. The debris penetrated 30 feet into the ground and everyone on board the plane died.

More than 40 countries banned Boeing 737 Max after accidents

After the accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia, Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft were banned in more than 40 countries including India. The then US President Donald Trump had ordered that Boeing’s 737 Max series aircraft would not fly until the investigation was completed and the defects in the aircraft were corrected.

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Boeing had to pay ₹20,000 crores to the US Aviation Department. Not only this, the company suffered a loss of $20 billion i.e. ₹16 lakh crore due to the accidents. The company dismissed CEO Dennis Muilenburg in December 2020.

After an 18-month investigation, America lifted restrictions on the flight of Max planes. After 2 years, Boeing 737 Max series aircraft started flying again in other countries. For this the company had to make changes in the MCAS software.

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