"MIRCE Science is a theory of the motion of working systems through MIRCE Space, caused by any functionability action whatsoever, used for Managing In-service Reliability, Cost & Effectiveness. Dr J. Knezevic, 1999

   

Jun 12, 2014

MIRCE Functionability Actions


Category: General
Posted by: daneswood

13 June 2021 Boeing Discovers Faulty Fastener Installation On Undelivered 787 Dreamliners

Boeing is investigating another quality lapse. This time, the manufacturer discovered hundreds of fasteners incorrectly installed on its undelivered 787 Dreamliner aircraft, assembled in Charleston, South Carolina. Here, Boeing puts together the 787s from  pieces of the aircraft that are flown in from several places around the world. During final assembly, a lightweight carbon-composite skin is attached to skeletal supports inside the fuselage sections called longerons. The incorrectly installed fasteners were torqued from the head instead of the nut. Reports say that more than 900 fasteners were affected per plane. According to Boeing “Our 787 team is checking fasteners in the side-of-body area of some undelivered 787 Dreamliner airplanes to ensure they meet our engineering specifications. The in-service fleet can continue to safely operate. We are taking the time necessary to ensure all airplanes meet our delivery standards prior to delivery. We are working closely with our customers and the FAA and keeping them updated.”

11 June 2024: Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 Incident: Hydraulic Failure and Tyre Damage

 An Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 freighter, registration N429MC, suffered a hydraulic failure and tyre damage shortly after departing from Seoul Incheon, South Korea,  during flight 5Y-8692 to Anchorage, Alaska. The aircraft halted its climb at 10,000 feet, circled at 7,000 feet to dump fuel, and returned safely to land on runway 15R approximately 90 minutes after takeoff, but was disabled on the runway due to tyre damage. It was later learned that tyre tread separation during rotation severed a hydraulic line, causing the failure of hydraulic system #1 and subsequent tyre blowouts on landing.

11 June 2024: Flooding At Palma De Mallorca Airport Leads To 119 Cancelled Flights

Following severe weather over the Balearic Islands, Spain, Mallorca and its airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI), suffered significant disruption, as a result, more than 100 flights were delayed, cancelled, or diverted from PMI during the day. Eurowings was forced to cancel the largest number of flights from/to PMI, totalling 27 flights. Ryanair was second with 24 cancelled arriving and departing flights. Pilots and dispatcher work together to make sure the plane is on the ground with plenty of fuel still in the tanks. However, the situation normalizing on June 12.

31 May 2024: High temperature in cargo divert B777

A PIA Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-200, registration AP-BGJ performing flight PK-839 from Karachi (Pakistan) to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) with 329 people on board, was enroute at FL360 about 150nm south-southeast of Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) when the crew set course to divert to Riyadh due to a high temperature indication for one of the cargo holds. The aircraft landed safely to Riyadh 35 minutes after initiating the diversion. The airline reported the crew received a high temperature indication for a cargo hold. The sensor was found to be faulty. A passenger reported he heard sort of an explosion prior to the diversion. The aircraft remained on the ground in Riyadh for about 5 hours, then continued the flight and reached the destination 5.5 hours later than scheduled.

29 May 2024: Person was sucked into the running engine at Amsterdam-Schiphol Involving KLM Cityhopper

A fatal accident occurred at Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport when a person was sucked into the running engine of a KLM Cityhopper Embraer ERJ-190STD during pushback for flight KL1341 to Billund, Denmark. The individual, whose identity remains unclear, was confirmed dead by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, and the aircraft sustained minor damage. Passengers and crew were safely evacuated without injuries, and the Dutch Safety Board is currently investigating the incident, while victim support services are being provided to those affected.

 26 May 2024: Turkish airlines flight attendant breaks spine after hitting cabin ceiling during severe turbulence rocks A321

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 flight from Istanbul to Izmir was rocked by sudden turbulence shortly after the pilot turned on the sign to fasten the seat belts. Flight attendants are often the most vulnerable in such situations as they perform other flight duties and may not reach their seats in time to avoid injuries. In this case a flight attendant, who was just two months into the job, was flung to the ceiling before falling hard on the floor, suffering from a broken backbone.

20 May 2024: Technician Overrun by A320 at Yekaterinburg Airport

A Ural Airlines A320 ran over a technician inspecting the plane's landing gear before takeoff earlier today, at Yekaterinburg Airport (SVX/USSS) in Russia. The technician was injured when the pilot of the Yekaterinburg-Bishkek flight began to move without waiting for the permission signal. The victim, who survived with broken bones, was taken to the hospital, and the entire crew has been suspended. 

 21 May 2024: Severe Turbulence Leads to Fatality and Injuries on Singapore Airlines B777

 Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, a Boeing 777-312ER, experienced severe turbulence en route from London to Singapore, resulting in one fatality and injuries to 30 passengers, over the Irrawaddy Basin, Myanmar. The aircraft, carrying the 211 passengers and 18 crew on board, diverted to Bangkok, landing at 15:45 local time; injured passengers included citizens from various countries and were treated in Thai hospitals, with 20 in intensive care. Preliminary investigations suggest the deceased, a 73-year-old Briton, suffered a heart condition; authorities from Singapore, Thailand, and the US are investigating the incident.

20 May 2024: Emirates B777 Lands Safely After Hitting 39 Flamingos in Mumbai

The incident happened on Monday evening as Emirates Flight EK508 from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Mumbai International Airport (BOM), carrying around 310 passengers,  was involved in a bird strike incident upon landing. The aircraft landed safely and all passengers and crew disembarked without injury, however sadly a number of flamingos were lost. Residents in the area alerted authorities about scattered bird carcasses and body parts, including beaks and claws. Forest Department officials collected the remains of the unlucky birds, with the carcasses to be sent for an autopsy. An estimated 39 birds have been recovered and there are likely to be a few more as yet undiscovered. The damaged aircraft is a 777-300ER, registered as A6-ENT, approaching ten years old after joining the Emirates fleet in August 2014. Mumbai welcomes hordes of flamingos every winter, which come to the region's wetlands between November and May each year. Both the Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) and Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) can be found during this period, and it hasn't been confirmed which type was involved in the bird strike. The Lesser Flamingo would qualify as a medium-sized bird with a typical weight of between 1.2kg and 2.7kg.

 8 May 2024: Fire Induced Emergency Evacuation from A321neo At Sea-Tac

 A Delta Air Lines A321neo flight from Cancun to Seattle had a mechanical malfunction, which caused a small the fire below the cockpit near the nose of the aircraft. The fire was out within 30 seconds to a minute after the passengers evacuated the plane. Although a few people suffered minor injuries, the evacuation process was reportedly smooth. According to the crew some people responded to the fire with panic; there was a little bit of jostling in the aisles to get to the exit. But overall, it was a pretty smooth evacuation process. Such incidents are sporadic, and air travel remains the safest transportation available today. The aviation industry's strong safety culture ensures that each incident is investigated and recommendations are implemented to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

 6 May 2024: Mask Mandate Finally Lifted For Flight Crews In China

Since the global spread of COVID-19 began at the end of 2019, airlines worldwide, including those in China, have announced requirements for both crew members and passengers to wear masks while flying. However, in January 2020, the rampant spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in China, some Chinese airlines did not allow flight attendants to wear masks, citing concerns about damaging the company's image. However, this drew criticism from the public regarding the airline management's apparent disregard for the safety of frontline staff. As the world understood the pandemic, airlines worldwide imposed strict requirements for both crew members and passengers to wear masks. In August 2020, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also issued a call on its official website, emphasizing that during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew members, it was mandatory for all passengers to wear masks while travelling. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic gradually stabilized and control measures eased, requirements for wearing masks while flying began to relax. Starting from March 2022, British airlines and KLM lifted mask restrictions, while in April, a US court ruled that the US government's mask mandates for airlines and public transportation were no longer effective. Finally, Hainan Airlines Group announced on 30th April its that in accordance with the latest requirements from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), from the 6th May 2024 their flight attendants will no longer be required to wear masks. However, there are two situations in which crew members need to wear masks: when they exhibit symptoms of infectious diseases such as fever, cough, runny nose, or sore throat, and when replacing High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters on the aircraft

4 May 2024: Bird Strike Forces B737 Return at Bishkek Airport

Avia Traffic flight K9117, operating a Boeing 737, registered EX-37020, encountered a bird strike during takeoff from Bishkek-Manas International Airport, Kyrgyzstan. The aircraft, bound for Osh Airport, sustained minor damage to its engine fan blades and safely returned to Bishkek 20 minutes post-departure. There were no fatalities among the occupants, and the aircraft is currently undergoing further technical examination

28 April 2024: Hail Strike on B777 at Hong Kong

An Atlas Air Boeing 777-200, registration N709GT performing flight 5Y-8341 from Hong Kong (China) to Liege (Belgium), was climbing out of the Hong Kong's runway 07R when the aircraft flew through hail. The aircraft continued to Liege for a landing without further incident. According to information The Aviation Herald received, the weather radar was inoperative following the hail strike, post flight inspection revealed a penetration of the vertical stabilizer and reshaped radome in addition to many hail stone impact marks around the entire aircraft. The crew consulted with operations in flight and was advised to continue to Liege.

20 April 2024: NASA satellites shocking space junk near miss was even closer than thought

 On 28th February 2024 the dead Russian spy satellite Cosmos 2221 and NASA's TIMED craft, which has been studying Earth's atmosphere since 2001, made an uncomfortably close pass in orbit, zooming within a mere 20 meters of each other, according to the initial estimate, anyway. However, detailed study shown that it was actually even closer, according to NASA. "We recently learned through analysis that the pass ended up being less than 10 meters, within the hard-body parameters of both satellites,” was reported during a presentation at the 39th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Had the two satellites collided, we would have seen significant debris generation, waiting to puncture a hole in another spacecraft, potentially putting human lives at risk. hile such hits remain rare, near misses such as the one TIMED survived are becoming more and more common, for Earth orbit is getting more and more crowded. There are currently about 11,500 satellites circling our planet at the moment, 9,000 of which are operational, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). More than half of these functional craft, by the way, are part of SpaceX's Starlink broadband network; the ever-growing megaconstellation currently consists of nearly 5,800 satellites.

19 April 2024: Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 has been completely destroyed by fire

 An ex-Cathay Pacific Airbus A330, B-HLH, has been completely destroyed by fire at Ciudad Real Airport, Spain. The A330 caught fire while it was parked in long-term storage, where had been stored at the airport since 2020.  It was reportedly awaiting to be scrapped. The fire broke out around noon local time and was extinguished by fire-fighters from Ciudad Real and Puertollano within a few hours. Thankfully, no injuries were reported in the incident. The head of the airport mentioned that it’s the first time they’ve had to address airport infrastructure issues due to a fire.

 16 April 2024: Extreme Flooding At Dubai Airport Causes Flight Diversions and Cancellations

As Dubai is surrounded by desert, it is extremely rear occasion to see such high levels of rainfall. In the past 24 hours alone, Dubai has seen 119 mm of rainfall, which is equivalent to one and a half year's worth of normal rainfall for the city. Rainwater was seen deluging the city's road network, and as such, the Dubai Metro has extended its operating hours to 03:00.  Dubai International Airport has paused arriving flights due to severe flooding caused by heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours. Departing flights are unaffected. 21 departures and 24 arrivals were cancelled, with flights to and from destinations across the world impacted.

17 April 2024: FAA issues ground stop advisory for Alaska Airlines

 The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop advisory on Alaska Airlines, saying: “All Alaska mainline and subcarrier flights ground stopped.” In a separate statement, the FAA said the carrier “asked the FAA to pause the airline’s mainline departures nationwide”. Alaska said in a statement: “This morning we experienced an issue while performing an upgrade to the system that calculates our weight and balance. A ground stop for all Alaska and Horizon flights was instituted at approximately 7.50am PT. We’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage guests to check the status of their flights on alaskaair.com or the Alaska App prior to heading to the airport.”

 7 April 2024: An engine cowling on B737 rips off during takeoff

An engine cover on Southwest Airlines B737-800 fell off on Sunday during takeoff in Denver and struck the wing flap. No one was injured and Southwest Flight 3695 returned safely to Denver International Airport and was towed to the gate.  There were 135 passengers and six crew members aboard climbed to about 10,300 feet before returning 25 minutes after takeoff. Southwest declined to say when the plane's engine had last had maintenance.

 30 March 2024: A330 Hydraulic leaks causes not full retraction of landing gear

A Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330-300, registration B-LNR, encountered a negative functionability event manifested as not full landing gear retraction  during its ascent from Bangkok, Thailand, to Hong Kong, China. The incident prompted the crew to halt the climb at 5,000 feet due to a gear strut not fully retracting, leading to a return and safe landing in Bangkok approximately 35 minutes later. The cause of the functionability event was a detected hydraulic leak in the affected gear strut. The aircraft resumed its journey, arriving in Hong Kong about 17 hours behind schedule after a 16.5-hour delay for repairs.

29 March 2024 As B787-10 Hits Severe Turbulence 22 Injured

 The B787-10, registered as N14016, operated as UAL85 from Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv, Israel. It proceeded to an initial cruising altitude of 34,000 feet before jumping up to 36,000 feet. As it crossed over the North Atlantic Ocean, the plane subsequently climbed to 38,000 feet and continued west for the remainder of its cruise, which appeared to be uneventful. However, 10 hours and 51 minutes into the flight, it had begun its initial descent. Ten minutes after beginning its descent, the aircraft was around 20,000 feet and well went well until the moment the aircraft had lined up for final approach on Runway 22L and was descending through 3,000 feet. It then continued for what appeared to be a normal approach. Flight data shows that the plane was only 350 feet in the air over the runway at approximately when it then climbed 3,200 feet and continued flying south of the airport before turning northwest. The Dreamliner eventually reached 4,200 feet before descending and landing at SWF. N14016 landed safely on Runway 27. It is unclear when the aircraft encountered the severe turbulence, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it would investigate the incident. The agency told Simple Flying that the crew reported a passenger emergency, which prompted the diversion. There were 312 passengers  onboard, out of which 15 were treated by paramedics at SWF, while seven were taken to St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital. The incident was the second United aircraft to make an emergency landing in about 24 hours. On Thursday, UA990 was enroute from San Francisco to Paris when it diverted to Denver following engine issues. United has been under the spotlight for experiencing a slew of safety incidents in the past few weeks. Last week, the FAA said it would increase its oversight of United’s operations to ensure safety compliance.

27 March 2024: An Emirates A380 Was Damaged By A Ground Vehicle At Moscow

Emirates flight from Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME) to Dubai International Airport (DXB) had to be cancelled after the aircraft was damaged by a ground vehicle. The Airbus A380 was preparing to operate flight EK134 with a scheduled departure of 16:35 and an arrival in Dubai at 23:15. Images doing the round on social media show a yellow ground vehicle wedged under the superjumbo, severely damaging its belly. The structural damage was quite evident in the pictures, possibly grounding the aircraft for days for repairs. Thankfully, there have been no reports of any injuries to passengers. Simple Flying received a statement from Emirates that said, The aircraft involved in the incident is an almost 14-year-old Airbus A380 (registered A6-EDM), delivered to Emirates in September 2010. It can seat 489 passengers in a three-cabin configuration – 399 in economy, 76 in business class, and 14 in first class. Over the years, A6-EDM has accumulated almost 46,000 flight hours across 5,678 flight cycles. It remains to be seen how long it stays in Moscow for repairs.

 24 March 2024 Emirates And Ethiopian Airlines Collision At 37,000ft Averted By Somaliland ATC

The Somaliland Civil Aviation and Airports Authority (SCAAA) reported that an Emirates Boeing 777 and an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX narrowly avoided collision while flying over Somaliland. It involved Emirates Flight EK722 en route to Dubai and Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET690 en route to Bangalore. According to the SCAAA, the two nearly collided while flying at 37,000 ft. They had reportedly received conflicting instructions from air traffic controllers in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX was flying from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) to Bengaluru Kempegowda International (BLR). The SCAAA's report suggests that both flights had been directed to converge at the same time and location. However, Somaliland air traffic controllers intervened and collaborated with the Ethiopian flight crew to avoid disaster. The Ethiopian pilots eventually ascended to 39,000 ft and maintained safe separation. According to by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airspace over Somalia and the surrounding ocean is managed by the Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) from the Mogadishu Area Control Center. Both Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates were not available for comment at the time of publishing.

23 March 2024: FAA warns of air travel disruptions in path of April 8 eclipse

The eclipse on 8th April 2024 will cross North America in its path, going over Mexico, the United States and Canada. It is expected to impact the U.S. from about 2:30 p.m. EDT to 3:40 p.m. EDT. Consequently, the US Federal Aviation (FAA) warned pilots to prepare for operational changes and higher-than-normal traffic volume at airports along the eclipse’s path. These airports include Burlington International Airport, Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, Fort Wayne Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. While there may be disruptions on the ground, Delta Air Lines offered two flights for travellers to see the eclipse from the sky. The two flights will depart from Dallas-Fort Worth and arrive in Detroit at times to give travellers “the best change of safely viewing the solar eclipse.” Delta said viewing opportunities will be available on five additional routes April 8, listed on their website, and advised passengers aboard these flights to bring protective viewing glasses. This is the last total eclipse that will affect sky over North America until 2044. According to Delta Air “This eclipse will last more than twice as long as the one that occurred in 2017, and the path is nearly twice as wide.”

15 March 2024: Laser strike reports 2023 as record year

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that 2023 was a record year with more than 13,000 laser strikes. It is up about 27% in the state in just a year. Recently, pointing a laser at an aircraft is made a federal crime, which carries with it significant penalties and even, in some cases, some jail time. Police reported, when they catch those responsible, one of the first things people say is they did not think it was a big deal. However, those on receiving end reported that they blinded,, “we could not see the gauges inside the aircraft  and got disoriented, which could lead to loss and a tragic event”. 

11 March 2024: FAA Issues New Warning Of Wiring Issue On 737 MAX Wing Spoilers

 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published a new proposed airworthiness directive for B737 MAX planes following reports of improperly installed spoiler wire bundles. This fault has caused unintended rolls in flight and could lead to pilots losing control of the aircraft. Spoilers are panels mounted on wings that, when extended, disrupt airflow over the wings, resulting in increased drag and less lift. If a spoiler ‘hardovers,’ it has reached its maximum limit and is effectively jammed. The FAA has received reports of “multiple unusual spoiler deployments, which resulted in an un-commanded roll to the right” during the cruise phase of flight. The FAA investigation “identified the potential for a hardover of more than one flight spoiler on the same wing, which can exceed full lateral control capability leading to loss of control of the airplane.” In the cases reported, the “spoilers” warning light on the aircraft affected switched on, and the spoiler control electronics issued a spoiler fault code. The FAA says the fault was “intermittent and was seen on multiple flights.” The root cause was determined to be “wire chafing damage due to spoiler control wire bundles riding on the landing gear beam rib in the right wing trailing edge due to non-conforming installation of spoiler wire bundles that occurred during production.” The FAA’s proposed AD would make completing the tasks specified by Boeing’s alert bulletin mandatory to address this “unsafe condition” on Boeing’s: 737–8, 737–9, and 737–8200 MAX planes. 

8 March 2024: Indonesian airline pilots fell asleep mid-flight

On 25th January 2024 a Batik Air A320's 153 passengers and four flight attendants were flying from South East Sulawesi to the capital Jakarta. About half an hour after the plane took off, the captain asked permission from his second-in-command to rest for a while, with the request being granted. The co-pilot then took over command of the aircraft, but also inadvertently fell asleep. A few minutes after the last recorded transmission by the co-pilot, the area control centre in Jakarta tried to contact the aircraft. It received no answer. Twenty-eight minutes after the last recorded transmission, the pilot woke up and realised his co-pilot was asleep and that the aircraft was not on the correct flight path. He immediately woke his colleague up, responded to the calls from Jakarta and corrected the flight path, the report said. The plane landed safely after the incident. The incident resulted in a series of navigation errors.

7 March 2024: ITA Airways A320 Bird Strike Incident Near Rome

An ITA Airways Airbus A320-272N, registered as EI-HOC, encountered multiple bird strikes shortly after takeoff from Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport, Italy, bound for Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport. Despite the impact leaving a significant dent on the aircraft's radome, the pilots managed a safe return and emergency landing at the departure airport without any injuries reported among the occupants. The flight, initially departing at 8:25, was delayed as passengers were accommodated on a substitute aircraft, while the affected A320 underwent repairs for the damage sustained, highlighting the ongoing challenges of wildlife strikes in aviation.

7 March 2024: United Airlines B777 makes a safe emergency landing after losing a tire during takeoff

A United Airlines B777, built in 2002, bound for Japan made a safe landing in Los after losing a tire while taking off from San Francisco. Video shows the plane losing one of the six tires on its left-side main landing gear assembly seconds after takeoff. The tire landed in an employee parking lot at San Francisco International Airport, where it smashed into a car and shattered its back window before breaking through a fence and coming to stop in a neighbouring lot. No one was injured. The flight carried 235 passengers and a crew of 14, United said. The B777 was designed to land safely with missing or damaged tires, as t the remaining tires are fully capable of handling the load. 

1 March 2024: Alaska Airlines B737-900ER Arrives In Portland With Cargo Door

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines had an incident involving the door to the front cargo hold on a Boeing 737-900ER being ajar after a four-hour flight. The startling discovery was at Portland International Airport (PDX) when the aircraft pulled into its gate. It is unclear how long the door was slightly ajar; however, pets were believed to be inside the cargo hold during the flight and lived through the ordeal. It is also unknown whether the incident could have put the flight at risk, but it is worth noting that the aircraft did not make an emergency landing, and the pilots were unaware that the door was unsealed. During all this time there were “No indication to the crew”. Due to pressurization, the door likely opened when the aircraft was on the ground rather than in the air. Upon discovering the open cargo door, Alaska removed the jet from service for the remainder of the evening. “Our maintenance teams inspected the aircraft, replaced a spring in the door handle, tested the door and re-entered it into service,” the airline explained. The aircraft has since performed several other flights around the country without issue. According to, N402AS is an 11-year-old 737-900ER. Delivered to the airline in 2012, the plane had over 41,500 flight hours and more nearly 13,200 flight cycles as of December 31, 2023.

27 February 2024 Cruise Ship Navigates Through Space Debris Warning Zone 

Second European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-2) was launched on 21st April 1995 with a life expectancy of three years. Well-exceeding that age, the European Space Agency (ESA) began to de-orbit ERS-2 in 2011 and finally the satellite re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean on 21st February 21 2024, although the debris warning stretches to 2nd March 2, 2024. It was ‘natural’ process with all of remaining fuel depleted during de-orbiting to reduce the risk of an internal malfunction causing the satellite to break up into pieces while still at an altitude used by active satellites. As a result, it was not possible to control ERS-2 at any point during its re-entry and the only force driving its descent was unpredictable atmospheric drag. This type of satellites are designed to burn up upon re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere, with any surviving fragments falling into designed “spacecraft cemeteries.” These are vast, uninhabited ocean expanses, typically in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Amidst the tranquil blue Indian Ocean, an unexpected message from the captain of the Princess Cruises’ Island Princess’ current World Cruise warned the passengers about space debris that will be falling into the ocean were thet will be passing on the way to Port Louis, Mauritius.  Captain Cataldi, stated “We estimate that we will be at the boundary of the navigational warning that there is probability   that any debris of ERS-2 will fall on the ship as it is one of the preferred places to bring decommissioned satellites down.” He even highlighted the normalcy of the event in his letter to passengers, indicating the Indian satellite Cartosat-2 fell into the Indian Ocean just weeks prior, on February 14, 2024. The disintegration was expected to be harmless, with the satellite breaking into small, innocuous pieces long before it could pose a threat to a cruise ship or its passengers

20 February 2024: Lufthansa Technik Completes Its 1st 12 Year Airbus A380 Check

History has been made in at the Lufthansa Technik’s Manila as the first ever 12 year maintenance check of Airbus A380 was completed. The last few years have been turbulent for the double-decker Airbus A380, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic prompting operators to put it into long-term storage as demand fell. However, with commercial aviation now rebounding strongly, demand for the superjumbo's capacity is present once again, as is the demand for maintenance of the type. While LTP has already facilitated three and six-year checks for Lufthansa's reactivated Airbus A380s, the twelve-year procedure is a much more extensive matter. The first aircraft to undergo this process was D-AIMC and started in October 2023. Given the extensive nature of the 12 ear check, the aircraft's cabin had to be stripped bare to enable this before any of the relevant inspections could take place. Hence, this stared with the removal of all 509 of the A380's seats, as well as other large components that were replaced or temporarily dismantled. While these removals enabled thorough internal inspections, the aircraft's external components were also subject to checks as part of the procedures. One of the biggest feats on the outside of the aircraft was the full-scale replacement of its 22-wheel landing gear, which is spread across five individual assemblies. Three jacks and a safety stay supported the colossal aircraft during this process. Meanwhile, the A380's four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, which each weigh six metric tons and measure three meters in diameter, were also removed to enable inspections of their mounts on the wings. However, inspections of the engines themselves during the twelve-year check were relatively minimal. Overall, the task was an impressive human feat, with over 100 engineers involved at peak times.

17 February 2024: B737 MAX Rudder Inspections Looking For Loose Bolts Mandated by FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published a directive ordering Boeing 737 MAX 8, MAX 8-200, and MAX 9 operators to inspect their aircraft for any potential loose bolts in the rudder system. The airworthiness directive (AD) was mandated after an operator found a missing washer nut and subsequently found a loose bolt during regularly scheduled aircraft maintenance. Also, FAA has received a report of the missing nut and washer and a migrated bolt in the aft rudder quadrant in mid-December 2023. Boeing inspected all in-production Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, finding one more case of an under-torqued nut at the same location. A disconnected the aft rudder quadrant and the output rod (due to the bolt falling out) would result in loss of rudder control via the rudder pedals. Rudder surface position would then be based only on the rudder trim and yaw damper systems. In addition, while the pilots could slowly move the rudder by adjusting the rudder trim position, their ability to do so would be limited by the maximum rudder trim authority. In the event of a disconnect between the aft rudder quadrant and the output rod and an engine failure during takeoff or climb, the pilots would not have enough rudder control to counteract the engine-out scenario. Even more, a flight crew would not be able to counter a high crosswind of above 20 knots during landing with limited rudder authority. As a result, the condition, if not addressed, “could result in the loss of continued safe flight and landing. The regulator stated that 482 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the United States will be affected by the directive. The first action mandated by the directive is a one-time detailed visual inspection (DVI) or remote inspection of the aft rudder quadrant for missing bolts, nuts, and washers within 30 days of the effective date of the directive, whose effective date is February 12, 2024. The FAA also mandated that operators look out for potential gaps between the bolt, nut, and washer and the quadrant, as well as insufficient thread protrusion, which could result in a bolt loosening during a flight. If operators discover any discrepancies during the inspections, airlines must do a detailed inspection of the bolt, washer, and nut for potential damage, and before further flight, replace any of the missing parts. They must also install each bolt, washer, and nut with a torque of 65 in-lb. Finally, an airline must do a rudder travel test to show whether the rudder is operating correctly. In the case that a test fails, carriers must correct the condition before further flight. Estimating the costs, the FAA pointed out that the inspections would cost airlines $42.50 per aircraft (30 minutes for an inspection multiplied by $85 per hour of labour costs). Meanwhile, the inspection or replacement of a bolt or nut, as well as torque application and a rudder travel test, will set airlines back $173 per aircraft, split between $170 labour and $3 parts expenses.

17 February 2024: Maggots fell into passengers onboard Delta Air Lines A330-300

Delta Air Lines A330-300 had to return to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) after maggots fell onto a passenger from an overhead bin, which immediately flinched and made sure that this maggot was off of her clothes. The woman alerted the flight attendants, but they had to wait for the aircraft to take off. Once airborne the aircraft turned to head nort-hwest as it quickly climbed in altitude. Within 35 minutes, the aircraft had already reached its cruising altitude of 34,000 feet and was flying over the UK. During that time, the flight attendants reportedly opened up the overhead bins, which caused several more maggots to fall out. Once the cabin crew discovered that the larvae were coming from a carry-on bag, it was opened and was said to have been claimed by a male passenger. When the bag was opened, everyone that was still sitting around that area immediately pinched their nose, because there was clearly a bad smell coming from it. After reaching its cruising altitude, the plane continued flying west for about eight minutes and then it made a U-turn back toward the Netherlands and descend rapidly. The aircraft was removed from service for the remainder of the day to be cleaned.

16 February 2024: Etihad Pilots Can Now Fly Both A350 and A380

Etihad Airways, the UAE's national carrier, has established itself as one of the first airlines world-wide to allow its flight crew to operate two major aircraft types: the Airbus A350 and A380. This development marks a pivotal achievement in aviation, since pilots are traditionally certified to fly only one aircraft type at a time due to the specific knowledge and skills required for each model. With the introduction of Mixed Fleet Flying (MFF), a concept supported by aircraft manufacturers and regulatory bodies such as the civil aviation authority, pilots can now be trained to operate two similar aircraft types interchangeably. This approach requires comprehensive training and stringent regulatory approval, ensuring pilots can safely and efficiently switch between aircraft types. By enabling its pilots to fly multiple aircraft types, Etihad can better adapt to network demands and optimise flight operations, highlighting the importance of flexibility, efficiency, and innovation in the competitive landscape of international air travel. This decision also marks a positive shift from the airline's cautious stance on the A380's future, which was affected by reduced demand during the pandemic.

11 February 2024: British Airways Pilot Accidentally Inflates Emergency Slide

An Airbus A320-200 registered G-EUUB, was unable to complete the flight BA886 from London Heathrow (LHR) to Bucharest (OTP), after the captain mistakenly activated the emergency slide while opening the door. BA's engineers examined and repaired the plane; which later returned to service when it was determined it was fit to fly. Accidental slide activation can be very costly to airlines. This week's event is expected to cost the airline around £50,000, which includes the cost of inflating a slide, repacking the slide and the cost of additional safety repairs and checks. It's not the first time British Airways has had an unexpected slide deployment affect its operations. In fact, it's the fifth time this has happened in a little over a year. "Cabin crew, arm doors for departure"; this sentence is heard on every commercial flight. The crew must manually attach the slides to the door, as on the famous Boeing 737, or set them up automatically on the Airbus A320. To arm them correctly is vital for passenger safety as the equipment provides a safe escape route in an emergency.

9 February 22024: Maintenance Error Eyed In Atlas 747-8 Engine Fire

An Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 was forced to return to Miami International Airport shortly after departure on 18 January 2024. Shortly after takeoff on a scheduled flight, to San Juan, Puerto Rico the pilots received “overheat” and “engine fire” alerts for engine no. 2. The captain immediately declared a “mayday” and the crew, cleared to return to Miami, worked through the applicable non-normal checklists. The fire was extinguished using onboard systems, and the aircraft landed safely. A post-incident inspection of the affected GE GEnx-2B67 engine showed damage on the thrust reverser wall directly above an open combustor diffuser nozzle port used to access the engine’s hot section for borescope inspections. The plug that blocks the port when access isn’t needed was “not secured in the case and was found loose in the engine cowling,” the report said. Maintenance records show the engine underwent a combustor section borescope inspection four days before the incident flight. The work, done by an unnamed vendor at Miami International, required removal of the plug. The maintenance work card provided instructions on how to properly reinstall the borescope plugs to ensure the locking feature was properly engaged. The work card was initialed by the technician performing the work and an inspector, indicating this task had been completed in accordance with the maintenance manual procedure.

5 February 2024: Virgin Galactic grounded after a small part fell off vehicle during latest space tourism flight

Virgin Galactic is grounded after the company said an alignment pin unintentionally detached from the mothership of its rocket-powered space plane on its latest space tourism flight. The safety of the mission was not affected, according to the company. The company discovered the part loss during routine checks and notified government regulators on January 31, “in accordance with regulations,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement. The pin was located on the underbelly of Virgin Galactic’s mothership, called VMS Eve, which is a twin-fuselage plane designed to carry the space plane, VMS Unity, under its wings to a high altitude before VMS Unity is released and vaults toward the edge of space. The alignment pin helps ensure the spaceship is aligned to the mothership when mating the vehicles on the ground during pre-flight procedures. The pin also helps transfer drag and other forces” from the space plane to the support structure that cradles the rocket-powered plane as it rides attached to the VMS Eve mothership. The FAA is tasked with giving the final go-ahead for commercial companies hoping to launch rockets and spacecraft. The agency’s role in this process, however, is only to analyze the potential risk that a flight poses to the public, people or property, not the danger to passengers on board commercial space vehicles, according to a moratorium set to expire in March 2024.

 5 February 2024: Weather Delays Axiom Astronaut Mission Return

The departure of the Axiom Space four-person private astronaut mission from the International Space Station (ISS) has been delayed due to unfavourable weather for splashdown off the Florida peninsula. The decision came as a low-pressure system was moving east across the Gulf of Mexico from the Texas/Louisiana region toward Florida, bringing heavy rain, wind gusts and periodic severe weather. Their Crew Dragon capsule docked to the ISS's Unity module on 20th January 2024 to begin an aggressive and successively executed science and technology agenda for a 14-day stay.

31 January 2024: EASA Warns Of Potential Airbus A380 Fuselage Gaps

According to The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) it was determined that during the assembly process of several Airbus A380 aircraft, the splicing installation on the affected areas had not been performed according to the manufacturer’s drawings. As a result, necessary shims that reduce the misalignment of the upper and lower frames have not been installed or are mis-located, which means that at specific fuselage frames, there might be a potential gap or shims that were incorrectly installed between the lower frame and the splice. The affected areas are the splicings of the upper and lower frames (FR) 47 to FR53 inclusive, located between stringers (STGR) 38 and STGR39, on the left-hand and right-hand sides of the center fuselage. Addressing the unsafe condition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A380-53-8201 on October 31, 2023, with EASA following up with a proposed AD (PAD) on December 20. If not detected and corrected, the condition could lead to built-stress in the junction of affected frames, increasing fatigue potential, possibly resulting in reduced structural integrity of the centre fuselage. Thus, the EASA issued its final-rule airworthiness directive (AD) on January 31, 2024, which includes instructions for operators on how to address the potentially unsafe condition. To detect the potential gaps, the regulator has instructed airlines to conduct a general visual inspection (GVI) of the affected area according to the instructions outlined by the manufacturer of the aircraft in the SB. The GVIs must be accomplished before the airframe accumulates 75,900 flight hours (FH) or 10,300 flight cycles (FC), whichever occurs first since the aircraft was manufactured. EASA defined the manufacturing date as when the ownership is transferred to the first operator. If, following a GVI, no shims are detected on any upper frame, airlines need to do a detailed visual inspection (DVI) on each affected fuselage frame before the airframe’s next flight. Subsequently, if a DVI shows any discrepancies, operators or maintenance organisations should do a rototest of each affected fastener borehole and a high-frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection of each frame radius. If airlines find cracks in the frame, they should contact Airbus for repair instructions or refer to the SB to repair the cracks, depending on the number of frames on which any crack is found and the size of the crack(s). Lastly, operators are required to (re)install the removed, repaired, or newly assembled parts, according to the instructions of the Airbus bulletin.

28 January 2024: Aeromexico Passenger Arrested After Opening Aircraft Door And Walking On Wing In Mexico City

Aeromexico flight 672, a regularly scheduled service from Mexico City to La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. The airline had kept the aircraft parked at the gate for hours while providing no ventilation or water to those onboard.
One of the passengers was arrested after he opened an emergency exit and walked onto the wing of an aircraft while waiting at a gate. While this may initially seem like a typical case of illegal passenger behaviour, passengers onboard the aircraft beg to differ and actually defend the man's action. The passengers onboard were extremely displeased with their treatment during what amounted to nearly a five-and-a-half-hour delay. Furthermore, they were quick to defend the arrested individual's actions. While the aircraft was eventually swapped and the flight did takeoff, passengers undeniably were forced to encounter an extremely uncomfortable situation. The official statement was "Yesterday a passenger on a flight to Guatemala opened an emergency door on a plane while it was stationary at a remote position, stood on a wing and then re-entered the cabin, without affecting the aircraft or anyone else." To avoid situations like this aircraft regulators set strict restrictions on how long airlines are allowed to be delayed on the apron before offering passengers an opportunity to deplane. According to the US Department of Transportation, airlines are required to provide passengers with a safe way to exit the aircraft once a delay has exceeded three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights.

25 January 2024: NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Mission Ends After Three Years

NASA’s history-making Mars Ingenuity Helicopter has ended its mission at the Red Planet after surpassing expectations and making dozens more flights than planned. While the helicopter remains upright and in communication with ground controllers, imagery of its Jan. 18 flight sent to Earth this week indicates one or more of its rotor blades sustained damage during landing and it is no longer capable of flight. Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was originally designed as a technology demonstration to perform up to five experimental test flights over 30 days, as the first aircraft on another world operated from the Martian surface. It lasted almost three years, performed 72 flights, and flew more than 14 times farther than planned while logging more than two hours of total flight time. It flew for the last time on 18th January 2024. NASA announced the end of mission for Ingenuity on Jan. 25, 2024. Through missions like Ingenuity, NASA is paving the way for future flight in our solar system and smarter, safer human exploration to Mars and beyond. Ingenuity landed on Mars 18th February 2021, attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover and first lifted off the Martian surface on April 19, proving that powered, controlled flight on Mars was possible. After notching another four flights, it embarked on a new mission as an operations demonstration, serving as an aerial scout for Perseverance scientists and rover drivers. In 2023, the helicopter executed two successful flight tests that further expanded the team’s knowledge of its aerodynamic limits. Ingenuity’s team planned for the helicopter to make a short vertical flight on 18th January 18 to determine its location after executing an emergency landing on its previous flight. Data shows that, as planned, the helicopter achieved a maximum altitude of 12 m and hovered for 4.5 seconds before starting its descent at a velocity of 1 m/s. However, about 1 meter above the surface, Ingenuity lost contact with the rover, which serves as a communications relay for the rotorcraft. The following day, communications were reestablished and more information about the flight was relayed to ground controllers at NASA JPL. Imagery revealing damage to the rotor blade arrived several days later. The cause of the communications dropout and the helicopter’s orientation at time of touchdown are still being investigated.

 21 January 2024: Japan Switches Off Lunar Lander In Bid To Save Mission

JAXA’s Moon Sniper, the SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) solar panels were designed to face skyward after landing, but data indicates that the lander has tilted and the panel now faces westward. Thus, the space agency decided to cut off power after the battery dropped below 10% to ensure there would be enough energy left for a restart. JAXA said the panels might be able to generate electricity once the Sun shines from the west. JAXA did not provide a timeline for when that might happen Despite the difficulties, SLIM was able to return sufficient data for JAXA to valuate whether the mission achieved its “sniper” objective to land within 100 m of its target point on the slope of the Shioli crater.

21 January 2024: FAA Recommends B737-900ER Door Plug Inspections

After some operators of the B737-900ER aircraft have had findings of loose bolts during the voluntary inspections the FAA issued a Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO), but stopped short of more stringent action required. As the 737-900ER and the -9 use an identical door plug design the FAA said that “operators are encouraged to conduct a visual inspection to ensure the door plug is restrained from any movements through the two upper guide track bolts and two lower arrestor bolts. The FAA did not specify what findings had been made prior to the decision, by saying that inspections should be made “as soon as possible.”, while continuing to evaluate data involving the mid-cabin door plug and will determine additional action as necessary. There are around 380 Boeing 737-900ERs aircraft in service that are understood to have the door plug. The fleet is between 5-17 years old, meaning that every -900ER has gone through at least one, if not several heavy maintenance checks. No issues have been reported.

 19 January 2024: Japan Lands On The Moon

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) spacecraft touched down the Moon, as planned. A live webcast of the landing ended before details were available. JAXA later said it was assessing an issue with the SLIM’s solar cells, which were not generating electricity. The spacecraft was operating on battery power. SLIM was launched on 6th September as a secondary payload aboard an H-IIA rocket that carried an X-ray telescope into orbit. The SLIM reached lunar orbit on Dec. 25. Using a pair of hydrazine-fuelled engines, the spacecraft dropped out of orbit to begin a 15-km descent to the surface. During the 20-min. descent, The SLIM paused twice during, at 500 meters and 50 meters, before touching down near a 900-ft. crater named Shioli in the Sea of Nectar on the Moon’s near side. During the descent, the SLIM deployed two small rovers, Lunar Excursion Vehicle-1 and -2, which made independent landings. The SLIM is designed to validate technologies for precision landings for future lunar missions. It aimed to achieve a landing accuracy of around 328 ft.

19 January 2024: NASA Declares End of Astrobotic Peregrine Mission

After 10 days and 13 hours in space, Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One made a controlled re-entry on Earth over open water in the South Pacific. That marked the end of the first flight of NASA’s commercial lunar delivery service carrying agency science and technology, as well as other customer payloads intended for the Moon. Astrobotic was the first commercial vendor to launch a mission to the Moon as part of NASA’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative, which aims to advance capabilities for science, exploration or commercial development of the Moon under the agency’s Artemis campaign. Following a successful launch and separation from the rocket on 8th January the spacecraft experienced a propulsion issue preventing Peregrine from softly landing on the Moon. After analysis and recommendations from NASA and the space community, Astrobotic determined the best option for minimising risk and ensuring responsible disposal of the spacecraft would be to maintain Peregrine’s trajectory toward Earth, where it burned up upon re-entry.

19 January 2024: Forgotten Flashlight Causes $4 Million In F-35 Engine Damage

U.S. Air Force-owned, Lockheed Martin F-35A at Luke AFB, Arizona was exposed to a maintenance error causing nearly $4 million in damage to a $14 million engine. During a test run on the ground, the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine ingested a flashlight left inside an inlet during a maintenance inspection, according to an Accident Investigation Board report released by the Air Education Training Command (AETC). A maintenance worker who conducted a final inspection left the flashlight inside the engine inlet. A different maintenance worker later ran an engine test, but failed to perform a required check prior to ignition, the report adds. The incident caused more damage than could be repaired locally. The Air Force sends high-power modules that need advanced repairs to the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. The report faulted the maintenance worker for not performing a required check of the engine tools before running the test. But the board also cited a deficiency with the F-35 program’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) for contributing to the incident. Maintenance workers must update checklists and inspection reports into ALIS. However, but the system’s hardware is not on the flight line. Workers download the latest maintenance data onto portable maintenance units to take to the aircraft on the flight line, but the downloads do not always work. In the absence of reliable data on the flight line, units have turned to local “best practices” that are not compliant with official F-35 maintenance procedures, the report says. In this case, the local unit requires the person performing the engine test to complete the final check of maintenance equipment. However, the tester might not necessarily be the worker who performed the last inspection, the report says.

18 January 20240: Atlas Air B747-8F Engine Failure after take-off

Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F freighter was en route to Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico, just moments into its initial climb when an unspecified problem occurred in the No. 2 GE Aerospace GEnx-2B engine. Video of the incident appearing on social media shows flames emanating from the engine in a series of pulses, a manifestation frequently associated with the event of a compressor stall.
The aircraft “returned safely to Miami International Airport around, after the crew reported an engine failure. The U.S. NTSB has opened an investigation and is collecting information to evaluate and determine scope. Registered N859GT, the aircraft was delivered to Atlas Air in November 2015 and has accumulated 5,802 flight cycles as of the end of October 2023, according to the Aviation Week Network Fleet Discovery database. The GEnx-2B, a derivative of the GEnx-1B that powers the 787, has established a reliable reputation since powering the 747-8F for its maiden flight in 2010. Although the engine family suffered an isolated midshaft fracture incident in 2011 and a series of events related to core icing in 2013, the GEnx-2B has maintained a standard service record.

17 January 2024: American Airlines passengers wait for hours to deplane due to winter weather

Snow and ice cause flights to be cancelled without going anywhere, but on this occasion they were particularly frustrating for the landing flights to Nashville, International Airport (BNA) causing lengthy delays. American Airlines flight 4375 from Washington National Airport (DCA), arrived 47 minutes late. However, the flight then faced a six-hour deplaning delay. A chain reaction of unfortunate factors appears to be behind these lengthy ground delays, starting with the fact that de-icing trucks, crucial to airport operations in such wintery conditions, ran out of fuel. This was then compounded by the fact that the valve to refuel them froze, causing further delays. Furthermore, later in the afternoon, the FAA issued a ground stop between 16:00 and 17:15 local time, preventing flights from leaving Nashville during this period. This caused further congestion on the ground, which prevented the inbound flight from Washington from being able to taxi to its gate. The final domino to fall was the fact that, once the aircraft in front had deplaned, the tow bar on the tug being used to move it away from the gate broke, adding insult to injury for the passengers who were so close but so far. The heavily delayed flight is said to have eventually arrived on stand six to seven hours late. Final result, 158 departing flights were cancelled, accounting for some 45% of the airport's scheduled daily total. Even more arrivals had to be shelved, with 174 flights (52%) meeting this fate. There were also 85 delayed departures and 64 delayed arrivals.

16 January 2024: Korean Air A330 collides with Cathay Pacific B777 in Japan

The Korean Air Airbus A330-300 with registration HL7702 was preparing to depart as flight KE766 bound for Seoul with 276 passengers and 13 crewmembers on board. However, while it was being pushed back from its stand in a snowy condition, its wing hit the APU compartment, horizontal stabiliser, and rudder of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300, registration B-HNW, was parked at a nearby stand. Korean Airlines’ initial assessment attributed the cause to the third-party ground handler who was towing the airplane in heavy snow. Although both aircraft sustained damages during the collision, however, no one was injured in the incident. Passengers were on board the Korean Airlines aircraft but there was no one on the Cathay Pacific B777. Following the incident, Cathay Pacific’s flight CX583 was cancelled whereas, the Korean Air flight has been rescheduled.

15 January 2024: Washer Found Missing On An Indian B737 MAX Aircraft

A piece of hardware was found missing on a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in India during an inspection following Boeing’s advisory in December. A washer, which is a plate with a hole in the center used to distribute the load of a threaded fastener, was missing in the rudder control system of a MAX plane. The identity of the airline to which the MAX belongs is not known..

9 January 2024: Boeing Omitted Information About Cockpit Door And Cabin Depressurisation from 737 MAX Manual

While examining the Alaska B737 Max the cockpit doors opening during rapid pressurisation events, the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that the cockpit door is supposed to open up during explosive cabin depressurisation events on the Boeing 737 MAX. However, this information was not included in the flight manual. Also a poor communication between the cockpit and the cabin was determined, stating that the flight crew and cabin crew members struggled to communicate with each other. Also it was found that the cockpit door is designed to open during rapid decompression. However, none among the crew knew that. As a result, Boeing will now include the information in the flight manual, which should become procedures and information for flight attendants and for the crew in the cockpit. Finally, one flight attendant saw the first officer jolt forward, with the pilot losing a portion of their headset during the event. The flight attendant was able to close the cockpit door, which slammed into the lavatory’s door, noting that “communication was a serious issue” during the flight. 

8 January 2024: United Airlines Discovers Loose Bolts On B737 MAX 9

Since, the initial blow-out of the emergency exit door plug occurred on 5th January 2024 airlines and regulatory bodies have been scrambling to pinpoint the exact cause of the rapid depressurisation. Recently, it was revealed that the affected aircraft, N704AL of Alaska Airlines, had dealt with auto pressurisation fail lights three times in the past month. Because of this, the airline was barred from extended-range travel, meaning it could not operate to Hawaii or over water. In mean time United Airlines revealed that it had discovered several loose bolts that are used to install the door plug on some of the airline's B737 MAX 9 aircraft. The airline began its inspection process by removing the interior panel that covers the door plug from the inside and visually inspecting the surrounding area. To do this, two rows of seats and the sidewall liner must be removed. The United Airlines inspectors then verify the proper installation of the door and frame hardware. The process continues by opening the door plug itself and examining the associated seal and additional structure. The door is then reinstalled, ensuring the plug is fit and sealed properly. Any discrepancies are documented before the aircraft is entered back into service, although the FAA has not cleared any 737 MAX 9 aircraft to resume operations. This entire inspection process requires a team of five United Airlines technicians and takes the team several hours per inspection. United specified that the airline and its inspection team are still awaiting final approval from the FAA regarding the overall inspection process. However, upon this early inspection process, United technicians discovered several installation issues involving the emergency exit door plug. A statement from the airline said, these discrepant bolts and other problematic parts were discovered on at least five of the airline's aircraft. Boeing did not immediately respond for comment regarding the findings.

5 January 2023 Alaska Airlines Grounds Entire B737 MAX 9 Fleet After Blowout Incident

Several hour