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Boeings own records show they’re responsible for Alaska plug door failure.

Submitted
The fuselage panel that blew off an Alaska Airlines jet earlier this month was removed for repair then reinstalled improperly by Boeing mechanics on the Renton final assembly line, a person familiar with the details of the work told The Seattle Times. (www.seattletimes.com) More...

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fmorriso
F. M. 28
As a retired (from 43 years on the job) software developer, the fact there are TWO systems for recording maintenance/repairs is what draws my attention.

Throughout my career in which the introduction of personal computers resulted in siloed, multiple versions of the truth (typically in spreadsheets), I often felt ignored as I pleaded for a a SINGLE VERSION OF THE TRUTH in any IT system I worked on.

In this case, Boeing seems reluctant to spend the money needed to blend their two SEPARATE maintenance/repair systems into a single system.

I will concede that even a near-perfect IT system is only as good as the people who use it (or our SUPPOSED to use it).
bchandl13
Brian Chandler 5
They (Boeing) did not have two systems. They had a seperate system from their supplier, but Boeing doesn't own Spirit Aero Systems and short of forcing all vendors on to their system as part of continued business guarantees they cannot force SAS onto their platform
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 4
It's not only possible, but very common for supply chain partners to share data on integrated IT platforms. Spirit is reliant on Boeing for about 80% of their business. Their welfare depends on Boeing's welfare so they are in no position not to co-operate.
nasdisco
Chris B 2
Plus it seems that Boeing utilizes a different “quality audit” tracking software to Spirit Aerosystems.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 4
“IT”, REALLY? Screw that, it’s a fault of the mechanic that worked on it, period!
BillOverdue
Bill Overdue 3
I too have come this "sometimes dangerous" practice in one of my careers. Often times, and could likely be this situation... a company having "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians".
Jaime1949
Jaime Terrassa 2
I agree with that well said
kwm2979
Kerry Moore 1
The SAT System tracks issues but has no authority for the repair or modification of the aircraft. The CMES and Non Conformance Reporting system are used for the documentation of those issues.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
Again, it’s one hell of a lot more important to do the job correctly, than documenting it!
kwm2979
Kerry Moore 3
But documenting the removal of parts is critical to account for incomplete work.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
AGAIN! Documentation is totally secondary to the work being performed completely, and correctly. What use is a document that shows incomplete or shoddy work that was done, when the result of that can endanger the lives of the passengers? Do it right the first time, period!
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 5
Both just as important. The documentation is to help catch issues like this. ALso VERY important to trace parts numbers/serial numbers and where they were installed.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
Except, as I said, “it’s AFTER the fact”! So, after thr NTSB finishes their crash investigation, this “documentation” can be added!
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 4
Not really. Someone forgets to install the bolts and doesn't document it as completed, a mandatory audit will flag it and have someone correct it. (and reprimand the mechanic). All BEFORE the crash.
dufus2
William lewis 1
funny that, I don't know how many times a manager has come up to me and told me to drop what I am doing and do something else, and he would see that it was done.
manarii
Dr Stephen Vadas 10
Time for Boeing to back to pre-merger management.
nasdisco
Chris B 2
Boeing sent them all out to pasture with various “early retirement “ programs. Ditto many production line workers with too many years of experience. All replaced by freshman cheapskate labor.
bombaywallah56
Excellent idea. I second that. The same way when Ronald Reagan allowed Bank mergers which has devastated the banking system and many small banks were allowed to be gobbled by the bigger banks and company executives taking huge payoffs in the process and many thousands of employees losing their jobs. Stop all big corp. and Bank mergers immediately
Syeatts
Susan Yeatts 0
This isn’t about banks 🤦🏻‍♀️
westjoe
Joe West 44
On a grammatical note: it is a sad state of affairs when the first word of the first headline says "Boeings" instead of "Boeing's". Normally I would just be quiet and stop reading, but I have just consumed too much caffeine to let this atrocity go unpunished.
KicksOnRoute66
Roger Anderson 14
To be fair, this is all user submitted. The actual story headline is "Boeing, not Spirit, mis-installed piece that blew off Alaska MAX 9 jet, industry source says"
SamHobbs
Sam Hobbs 8
I get frustrated by grammar like that too. When I try to explain the correct grammar people get upset.
nasdisco
Chris B 1
I get frustrated by the inability to correct titles. The software offered here is pretty weak.
babaganoosh
mike Renna 7
Good catch!

A kindred spirit!

What's your thoughts on way too many people using ‘filler words’ in almost or every sentence when speaking?! ‘I mean’, ‘you know’ and ‘like’ are in too many people’s speech!

Even executives of huge companies AND on-air talent on stations like Bloomberg radio!

I am 62 and remember in eighth grade in a public speaking class. The teacher would chide us when saying ‘um’. Fast-forward to today and it’s been replaced by full words.
feote
Ken Jackson 10
“What’s (what is) your thoughts”… is also a grammatical horror. “ people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.
666adt
That's casual conversational language, not something he was writing for publication. Therein lies the difference.
babaganoosh
mike Renna 1
:)

I was trying to think hard to avoid screwing up while critiquing. OOPS!
fireftr
Dale Ballok -2
“What’s” is one of many “contractions”, used to simplify a sentence, and is perfectly acceptable English useage .
JohnCaye
John Caye 4
When the subject (thoughts) is plural, the verb "are" is used.
As in, What are your thoughts....
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
usage
sfoltzpdx
Stephen Foltz 3
And an F bomb every other sentence! I hate that so many people post on SM and have no clue about using punctuation to create sentences.
northstar1858
Gunnar Hanson 0
What the f*ck is an F-bomb? LOL
87vr6
Ron Wroblewski -5
I hate that too. Fuck.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 0
Then, today, everything’s abbreviated, even player’s names (those with two last names)! And leaving out the word “from”. I don’t know about you, but I graduated “from” college, I didn’t “graduate” college!
rockingh0rse
Stuart Barkley 3
Damn, I didn't want to get involved in this. We're supposed to be talking about doors!
But as we're here... as a generalisation, Americans say "Can you bring me to the airport?". It's wrong. It's "Can you take me to the airport?".
I am an old Brit :-)
bchandl13
Brian Chandler 1
It speaks to the validitity and accuracy of the report and the agency that produced it.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
I agree with your find. On another note involving this incident, this is the THIRD description of the ejected part I’ve seen. First, it was the “door”. Then it was the “plug”. And here it’s referred to as a fuselage panel! Well, as the saying goes,”Some call it a spear, some call it an arrow”!!!
N43466
N43466 1
Nomenclature.
I have observed numerous times when our technical documentation & data would use three or more different names to describe a part. As an example and using the part names noted above and relevant to this thread, our cert report would describe it as a "plug", the part drawing would be titled "fuselage panel", the AMM would call it a "door". And the IPC possibly used yet another term to describe the part.
Consistent inconsistency.
ravanviman
hal pushpak 7
Interesting inside insights. Thanks for posting.
scottiek
scottiek 23
While Boeing may be partially at fault, Alaska Airlines had THREE warnings there were pressurization issues, twice in the days prior to the event, yet they failed to fully investigate the reason why. The plane should not have been in service.
ghstark
Greg S 14
The NTSB will investigate that aspect thoroughly, but there's no reason to believe Alaska violated any established procedures or common sense principles. There are so many possible relatively benign reasons for such warnings. An unbolted plug door on a new aircraft would not be a likely possibility and I suspect every other airline would have taken the same steps.
vaderbird1
S Lee 6
The NTSB has stated that the earlier pressurization warnings are not related to the door plug incident. The warnings occurred while on the ground so they were determined to be a glitch and they decided to switch to the redundant secondary system until they could get it inspected. This is important because there's no indication that anyone could have been pre-warned about the blow-out incident.

According to the 737 Technical Channel there are 7 failure modes for the Auto Pressurisation warning which came on during those three incidents:
1. Cabin altitude rate of change is too high
2. Cabin altitude is too high
3. Cabin differential pressure is too high
4. Power loss
5. Wiring failures
6. Outflow valve component failures
7. Cabin Pressure Controller failures
flightcan
Adi Rabadi 4
There is something wrong with the easy come lucky attitude for critical failures. If I knew my car's coolant was leaking - I would get it fixed right away.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 2
It wasn't low coolant, it was a low coolant warning light. There's a difference.

So to continue with your own example, when a low coolant warning light is on what do you do? You check the coolant, which is full. Do you have the car towed anyway?
ko25701
ko25701 7
Every possible leak source should have been inspected on the first occurrence!
RECOR10
RECOR10 -2
See, politics is finding its way to aviation....must.....stop.....leaks........ ;-P
21voyageur
21voyageur 1
Lame. Other sites for politics
RECOR10
RECOR10 1
The fact is that Aviation is politics. Every aspect of Aviation is has roots to politics. From who can fly, where we can fly, what we can fly, what companies get what tax credits for what purchases. Every aspect touches it...so, what again does the "F" stand for in the FAA?
BillOverdue
Bill Overdue 7
I'd recommend watching Juan Brown @blancolirio on YouTube. His analysis is spot on regarding the Boeing "oversights".
greerbk
Greer Kemp 14
A very interesting video, he highlights the issue that the two manufacturers involved (Spirit and Boeing) use DIFFERENT QA systems that do not talk to each other!
The other thing that is specific to this incident is that there is no requirement to create the paper trail that would ensure a QA inspection if they merely "open" the plug door rather than "removing" it.... ignoring the fact that BOTH actions require that the bolts are removed.... that is insane!
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 1
Also this video from Petter Hörnfeldt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b0eyrE7tXU
He's a 737 flight instructor, but the video shows that he also has an excellent understanding of the MAX Supply Chain issues.
EMK69
EMK69 18
>>>>>>>>>The critical procedural error, the lack of proper recording of the work done and what still needed to be done for completion, seems to reflect what former MAX assembly manager Pierson calls the “manufacturing chaos” he witnessed first hand in 2018 when mechanics were pushed to accelerate work to meet schedule.<<<<<<<<<<<

This is why I don't care for one-sided stories....IF Pierson noted this, what corrective action was taken, was it documented, and IF management failed to respond to corrective action and or failed to follow up then blame can be placed on the Company.

We all are having labor issues replacing aging workers, last year I interviewed 11 and of that 9 could not pass the dope testing.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Snailspace123
Greg Mills 1
Please don’t fall for - or promote - that QAnon RWNJ BS.

https://popular.info/p/loose-bolts-open-door-to-racism
BillOverdue
Bill Overdue -5
DEI, has nothing to do with the Right, or ANY form of Right! DEI derived from Wokeness and DIMMS created that from thin air! Accuracy clears up most issues!
worldavi
worldavi 0
Very Very true. degradation of personal standards
RECOR10
RECOR10 -4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pozRCoaPwhc
PDLanum
Philip Lanum -1
Ten 10 1 that the person who "forgot" to put the bolts into the door was ------- wait for it -----

white.

How's that working out for you?
TheDogeof88
Chuck Lavazzi 0
You misspelled "fantasy."
rockingh0rse
Stuart Barkley 2
If you were British, you would have misspelt misspelled :-)
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 5
Airbus thanks Boeing.
babaganoosh
mike Renna 7
I don’t understand why something like this plug is not required to be installed from the inside/ it’s larger than the opening. Even if there were no bolts installed, cabin pressure isn’t enough to push it through the fuselage.
skyeagle
The Max 9 / 37 , is not a successful investment and/ or invention.
It. Continues to be under radar and concerns.
Many Airlines are aware of these troubles and some has already made a decision not to buy them .
Aware Passengers are raising concerns as well.

It’s time for Boeing to rethink and rectify their technology and reputation.

They have already lost many business customers and even “ some Pilots are refusing to fly these Aircraft “
Eventually, we are for “ buy American “ however at times it’s “ Damn if you do , Damn if you don’t “ situation.

They better improve things , since Airbus is taking the lead at this time .

I wonder here the FAA stands in this case ?
JessGirard
Jess Girard 3
Seattle Times has a Paywall so I can't read the article. Also the Seattle Times says I'm using an ad blocker, which I'm not. Living as I do in New England I'm not anxious to subscribe in order to read one article. The "industry source" was evidently a Boeing employee. Again, unsubstantiated.
SamHobbs
Sam Hobbs 3
Many times they say we are using an ad blocker when we have tracking turned off. They are not the same thing. They want us to allow tracking but they do not use that term.
fbrinkel
Fred Brinkel 3
I cannot speak to the assembly process for an airframe, but in the automotive industry, the installer is obligated to mark critical bolts (typically for torquing) when completed providing a visual reference for important parts. I don't know if the bolts were never installed, or just not tightened (I suspect), but either way, if the installer looks at the part, (or an inspector) and there is no mark, the job isn't done. Marking the bolts would not create any measurable delay in completing tasks.
glennmagee
Glenn Magee 3
This is simply a case of a flawed design. The so called "plug" door is misleading in it's name. I know there is no distinction in the dictionary, but when I think of a plug, I think of the one you put in your sink to stop the water from going out. Something that is bigger than the hole and put in on the side from where the pressure is coming. I think a "patch panel" or "band-aid panel" would be a more accurate way to describe the flimsy thing Boeing has as a solution to fill their hole. No matter what you call it, it is still not using the existing pressure of the cabin to get the job done properly.

The hole/panel looks to be about 3 feet by 5 feet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the math would be: 36 inches times 60 inches equaling 2160 square inches times the cabin (maximum) pressure differential of ~ 9.5 pounds per square inch equaling 20520 pounds. That's more than 10 tons of force on that panel at high altitude. The panel blew out at 16,000 feet so the cabin diff was probably only about 4 psi. That is 8640lbs/4.3 tons of force. Either way, a seriously explosive decompression and a hell of a lot of weight to rely on those bolts to hold back, cycle after cycle after cycle.
ravanviman
hal pushpak 2
As I understand it, much (or most) of the cabin pressure is on the 6 stop pads and corresponding "ears" on the sides. I.e., not only on the four bolts per se. The four bolts keep the door from sliding up and out (for maintenance.) My source for this is Juan Brown's channel (Blancolirio on YouTube.)

I agree with you that this arrangement looks a bit kludgey, if not flimsy, but it has served Boeing very well over the decades.

I would have thought a manhole-cover principle would/could be used for an application like this, and I'm not educated about how this is done on other, non-Boeing, aircraft. It would be interesting to know, though, if anyone on this forum could care to contribute – with references, please.
PDLanum
Philip Lanum 2
The plug door has been in use on 737's since 2001.
737-900ER have them and the FAA wanted them checked too. Since most of the 900ER's have gone through C checks, the plug doors have been validated.
glennmagee
Glenn Magee 1
I think I understand the way it designed and installed now. If it is basically an emergency door without any open/close mechanism, then calling the panel "flimsy" was unfair. Nevertheless the weak safe-guards that hold the panel in place are reason for the incident.
TWA55
TWA55 3
People use to get fired or go to jail for screwing up so bad when it injured or killed people. Anyone seen this lately. I have held positions with which I had a legal responsibilty with my job, I took it very seriously.
flinr
richard flint 3
Boing is the next Kmart
SamHobbs
Sam Hobbs 2
Kmart was owned by Sears. The downfall of Sears is different. Perhaps Countrywide is a better comparison.
thenotoriousrob
rob strong 10
If it's a door plug only to be opened during maintenance, and covered to make it look like a seamless interior (which it doesn't) -- then why aren't there right angle (L-shaped) door levers to prevent it from ever blowing out? Terrible design, but hey... Boeing is focused on other hiring practices.
ghstark
Greg S 10
Or, even better, why not just bolt it shut. Oh, right, ...
aurodoc
aurodoc 3
Or, make it a real emergency exit door, thats the reason they built the fuselage with a hole, not to stick a plug in it
PDLanum
Philip Lanum 0
They you would be forcing all Max-9 seat pitches to be of the Spirit type. No foot room crammed together and just plain miserable.
skyeagle
How about being respectful and professional?

Rather than using offensive language and insulting others with criticism that has nothing to do with what has been said?

It’s very strange and surprising to hear some Members on this site making comments ( about using punctuation and creating sentences)

One should learn first how to communicate and make sure to stay on a specific subject discussed and not deviate from a topic.

To those who using profanity, please keep your tongue prisoner.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 2
Excuse me, Miss Perfect, but isn’t punctuation and making sentences (properly), a main part of “communicating “? I don’t know who you’re referring to, unless that was a general comment concerning profanity, and what to do with your tongue, but I haven’t witnessed any such thing on this post, and within this discussion about a very serious incident. You talk about deviating from the the topic. Unless I missed it, I didn’t see you add any comment, suggestion, or answer to the discussion! And, as far as spelling and grammar goes, this site is (thankfully) ivisited and commented by more knowledgeable, educated, experienced, and professional people than your ordinary internet site. So, if a grammar or spelling guffaw is spotted, so be it!
TimDyck
Tim Dyck 1
Offensive language is rare on this site. As for grammer and spellin…I like to leave a few errers now and then to give people like you something to complain about. If your only reason of being on this site is to try treat us like grade school students then I will gladly give your life purpose.
As for everyone else I hope my post doesn’t distract you from the real conversation here. Carry on as some of you have some very insiteful comments.
RamboJohn
John Rambo 2
How anyone can ever trust their safety on that company again is beyond me. They may as well change their name
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 0
yeah, like nobody would notice it if they change their name.....lol
bombaywallah56
It is indeed sad when very "coommonly"people
use wrong words out of context Like "there" for "their" and "your" for "you are" and wrong use of punctuation like "you're".I wish this country needs to first make sure everybody uses grammatically correct language before they are allowed to "graduate" high school. and colleges should have a grammasr test bfreo they admit students.
Syeatts
Susan Yeatts 4
You need to spell and grammar check your own comment. Just sayin’
skyeagle
Well, First of All our Respect To Our Native Americans is Away “ Overdue Sir “ Respectfully.

The Expression of I Quote:
“ too Many Chiefs And not Enough Indians “ ?


This Old Expression offends Our Own American Culture And The Native American “ Spirit “

And I would say , “ too Many Dedicated Boeing employees And Not Enough Leaders “

Logically, Boeing Is 80% Responsible For its Own Safety Systems, Safety and Productivity.

Airlines Mechanics Are Responsible for The 20% preparedness, Maintenance and reviews of Aircraft’s Data logs prior to Departures.

It All About Greed , Money and “ More Money “


“ ONLY WHEN The LAST TREE HAS BEEN CUT DOWN, THE LAST FISH HAS BEEN CAUGHT AND THE LAST STREAM POISONED, WE WILL REALIZE WE CANNOT EAT MONEY “

Native American Proverb .
brothanb
I can't wait to the NTSB report if this is true...
kwm2979
Kerry Moore 1
I can hear the argument now "We are only opening the door not removing it so a removal entry is not required. Besides, if we hold the removal open waiting for the seal to arrive then we cannot close the job in CMES and that spoils the performance metrics for that position".
dvond
dvond 1
Original post directly from the whistleblower. Alot of information posted below is incorrect.

https://leehamnews.com/2024/01/15/unplanned-removal-installation-inspection-procedure-at-boeing/#comment-509962
skyeagle
Contradicting and misleading news just now .

The FAA finally has just grounded about 170 Boeing Max 9 / 37’s worldwide.

The big question is : Why in the world Alaska Airlines resumed flying these type of Aircrafts after this incident?
PDLanum
Philip Lanum 1
The max-9 was cleared for fleet use 2023/01/26.
Your news is old and incorrect.
dufus2
William lewis 1
https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2024/01/30/boeing-alaska-airlines
Rachey
Boeing has the same problem so many Corp's have, bean counters running the company
Sure way to go out of business.
Saw it with Delco Reamy
jrgp1
If American industry wants to survive then they better get back to qualifications based hiring practices and forget the dei and esg excrement that the america haters and the damned media are pushing. That is, if America wants to survive. If not, go on with the dei and esg excrement and watch America die!
Swazinigel
Swazinigel -4
Agreed. DEI everywhere like a cancer it needs to be cut out..
Fatcant
Michael Allen -6
That's been the plan all along, suck us dry with their Fetidral Reserf of Nothing and turn us into a giant Kalergi dumping ground so we all disappear- they hate your children and your grandchildren from inbred envy.
TechnoDan
TechnoDan 1
I read some people blaming DEI for these kinds of problems, and others pushing back on that and writing "oh, just blame women and minorities, why don't you!" Well, both are right, DEI is a real problem, but it isn't a problem with the individuals that get placed above their level of competency, it is management's fault for using DEI (or anything else) to place unqualified persons (regardless of sex, race, etc) in positions anywhere, but especially when it comes to critical safety systems. When critical safety systems are not designed, built or maintained properly, it is the responsibility of management to correct those problems.

As an aside, I used to work in a FAA Part 145 shop repairing in-flight entertainment equipment, and the things I saw other techs do makes me glad our stuff was just for seatback TV and radio, not flight critical avionics. I tried to alert the local FAA office about it after I quit the job, but got no response from the message I sent. This was 2017.
AABABY
AABABY 1
All political and conspiracy comments. I don't see anything related to the actual issue of the failure by anyone who can support their findings. Admins need to review this entire entry.
flying4fun
Mary Davies 1
Where was the supervisor?!!!
skyeagle
Obviously, The Max 9, 737’s are not a score of nine out of Ten..

Boeing ought to rethink , brainstorm their technology, invention and design .
It’s an investment that is not going well.

Many Airlines are questioning this Aircraft’s , some Pilots are refusing to fly these Aircrafts.

Eventually, Airbus may take away the lead from Boeing.

It’s a Damn if you do , Damn if you don’t situation ,
“ Buy American is fine “ however Airlines may consider buying other Aircraft’s.

I wonder what the FAA had to say about this .
bt1104053
Bob Turner 0
Starts with the mechanic doing the work and the inspector checking the work. Do they care about their quality and did they have experience for this maintenance action. Maybe the work wasn’t finished when the 5 o’clock bell rang. It’s a big company did DEI have an effect on the work quality?
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 0
This is what I was thinking, competent mechanics who actually care about the work and don't run out at 5pm will KNOW this could have serious consequences if not done right or left alone mid job at 5pm.
jrgp1
Jose R Gonzalez -5
If you want Boeing to survive quit the DEI quota bullexcrement and get back to engineering, quality and safety. Out with he bean counters and dei's.
RJBrown409
Randy Brown -4
If it is true the final NTSB report will include this information.
Anonymous sources can be misleading.
There has been a real world wide effort to besmirch Boeing to the benefit of airbus.
Billions are involved.
TiredTom
Tom Bruce 2
Randy...Boeing is getting what it deserves...so sad...
jetjocknj
jetjocknj 1
Another conspiracy guy. They're coming out of the woodwork!
SamHobbs
Sam Hobbs 1
What does "conspiracy" mean? In law it is used to refer to people planning to commit a crime or working together to commit a crime or something like that. Outside of law people seem to use the term for anything they believe to be incorrect. Do you think that everything currently being said about Boing is positive?

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

ghstark
Greg S 0
I suspect this is not the last time we'll hear from Bull Overwrought, despite the fact that he alone knows the dangerous truth and surely the FBI thugs are reading these forums and have him on their list.
jetjocknj
jetjocknj 2
"FBI thugs" is a dead giveaway. This guy has to be a right-wing conspiracy guy, and therefore, not to be believed on any count.
RECOR10
RECOR10 2
What does "Snitches get stitches" have to do with politics? It is a reality.
adainv
adainv 2
FIB, not FBI! The last several years, they have destroyed their own image!
Nooge
Nooge 3
I think your Commander in Cheat is responsible for having and destroying the image of the best law enforcement organization in the world like the "suckers" and "losers" in the military all the pillars and institutions in America the DOJ the rule of law the CIA NATO
ToddBaldwin3
ToddBaldwin3 1
I think that is the most unintelligible sentence that has been posted here.
BillOverdue
Bill Overdue -3
Hmm, where do I say FBI "thugs".. see what I mean about controlling the narrative.
jetjocknj
jetjocknj 7
Not you, but Greg S.
Nooge
Nooge -7
The deep state is involved dont believe your lyin eyes not to be believed nothing in the media not to be believed

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