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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

Alaskan Airlines’ 737 MAX 9 door falls off

The Boeing plane was grounded for weeks for inspection.
A Jan. 7 Image of the opening in the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX airplane involved in the incident on Flight 1282. Via the National Transportation Safety Board.

The 737 MAX 9 incident on Jan. 5 was a terrorizing occurrence where a component known as a “door plug” became detached during an Alaska Airlines flight. This “door plug” is a part of the plane’s structure that can be installed by the manufacturer instead of an emergency exit door.

Airlines install door plugs instead of emergency exits in less dense configurations. A less dense configuration is where the aircraft has less seats, for example, Alaskan Airlines has first class cabin so they have only 178 seats in their aircraft while a low cost Indonesian carrier named Lion Air has the maximum permissible amount of seats for the aircraft (220). This means Lion Air would be required to install an exit where the plug door is located to meet regulations while Alaskan is not required.

The investigation revealed that loose screws were found in the “door plug”, contributing to its detachment during the flight. After detachment, this component was discovered in a man’s backyard in Oregon. Passengers from the affected flight are pursuing legal action against Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, seeking damages for injuries and distress. 

This event has prompted Boeing to take measures to enhance the quality and oversight of its 737 Max 9 planes.  They are reviewing their quality control practices, hiring additional inspectors, and collaborating with Spirit AeroSystems (the company responsible for the plug door) to inspect these parts before leaving the factory. 

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About the Contributor
Daniil Mclaughlin
Daniil Mclaughlin, Staff Writer
Daniil Mclaughlin a sophomore and a swimmer at MAST Academy on Virginia Key. Daniil enjoys listening to hip-hop and house music. Some of his favorite artists include Kanye, Drake, J Cole, Mf Doom, Metro Boomin, Childish Gambino, and Tyler the Creator. He enjoys biking, boating, rowing, and swimming. He’s on the MAST Academy swim team and he goes rowing at Miami Rowing Club next door to the school. He was born in Boca Raton, Florida and joined MAST last year. “What I like about Mast is how it’s right on the beach and how big the school is,” Mclaughlin said. "I also like how nice all the teachers are.” When asked why he chose journalism he expressed how curious he was about what this class entailed and what they did.
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