Boeing CEO says the Alaska Airlines blowout was caused by a ‘quality escape’

Boeing CEO says the Alaska Airlines blowout was caused by a 'quality escape'
  • Dave Calhoun told CNBC that a “quality escape” led to the Alaska Airlines blowout.
  • This week he told employees: “We’re going to approach this number one acknowledging our mistake.”
  • Alaska Airlines has canceled all its flights on Boeing 737 Max 9 jets as it awaits revised inspection instructions.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun addressed the recent incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 during an interview with CNBC, referring to it as a “quality escape.” Calhoun explained that a quality escape refers to issues found in inspections that could potentially contribute to an accident. The incident involved a door plug covering a deactivated emergency exit that blew off mid-flight, leading to the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 9 jets with a similar door plug by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Calhoun acknowledged the mistake and emphasized the company’s commitment to addressing what went wrong in the inspection process.

United Airlines, after inspecting its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes, discovered loose bolts, prompting Boeing to revise its inspection instructions for operators. The National Transportation Safety Board reported that four bolts used to secure the door plug were unaccounted for, and further testing is required to determine the precise cause of the incident. Alaska Airlines canceled all flights on its 737 Max 9 planes through Saturday, affecting up to 150 flights per day, as it awaits documentation from Boeing and the FAA to initiate inspections.

Boeing stated that it is in close contact with customers and the FAA regarding required inspections, making updates based on feedback and requirements. The FAA emphasized that the safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for the return of the Boeing 737-9 Max to service. The incident has raised concerns about the safety and inspection processes of the Boeing 737 Max 9 jets, prompting a thorough evaluation by the aviation industry and regulatory authorities.