Alaska Airlines Extends Gratitude to Maintenance Technicians, Shares Door Plug Checklist Summary

Feb. 2, 2024
After completing the final inspections on is first group of 737-9 MAX aircraft on Jan. 26, Alaska Airlines said, "We remain extremely grateful to our skilled Maintenance and Engineering team that is shouldering the inspection work and safely returning the planes to service."

Alaska Airlines says each of its 737-9 MAX will return to service only after the rigorous inspections are completed and each plane is deemed airworthy according to FAA requirements. The individual inspections are expected to take up to 12 hours per aircraft. 

After Alaska Airlines completed final inspections on its first group of 737-9 MAX aircraft on Jan. 26, the airline said, "We remain extremely grateful to our skilled Maintenance and Engineering team that is shouldering the inspection work and safely returning the planes to service, along with gratitude to all our employees who continue to help support our guests."

The airline shared photos taken by Ingrid Barrentine / Alaska Airlines of maintenance technicians in action.

For the inspection process, the 737-9 MAX has two door plugs – one on the left-hand side of the plane and one on the right in the middle of the cabin. Both door plugs must be inspected according to the FAA-approved inspection guidance.

Alaska Airlines shared a summary of the inspection checklist:  

  • Before opening the mid-cabin door plug, we will confirm it was properly installed by ensuring all hardware is in place and all clearances are measured and recorded.
  • We will then open the door plug and inspect for any damages or abnormalities to the door and seal components, including the guide fittings, roller guides and hinges, and inspect nut plates and fasteners.
  • We will resecure each door plug and ensure it is sealed properly per approved FAA guidance before the aircraft is returned to service.
  • Each inspection, including recording detailed measurements of hardware location, could take at least 12 hours for each aircraft.

How often will door plugs be inspected in the future?

Alaska Airlines: Our Maintenance and Engineering teams will continue to inspect the two door plugs at least every 24 months when each plane undergoes heavy maintenance checks as part of our standard protocol. In addition, we will inspect the door plugs on new 737-9 MAX aircraft we receive right after delivery. 

Related

Boeing
Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, speaks with employees Jan. 25 at the Quality Stand Down in Renton, Washington.
Aircraft

Boeing To Hold Quality Stand Downs at All Commercial Sites

Jan. 29, 2024
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal addresses 737-9 return to service and provides updates on quality actions.
faa_logo
Commercial/Airline

FAA Lays Out Extensive Inspection and Maintenance Process to Allow Boeing 737-9 MAX Aircraft To Return to Service

Jan. 25, 2024
A detailed set of inspection and maintenance instructions have been approved and shared after a review of data from 40 inspections of grounded planes.
NTSB B-Roll - Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX
Commercial/Airline

NTSB B-Roll - Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX

Jan. 8, 2024
January 7, 2024: NTSB B-Roll of investigators examining Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX in Portland, Oregon.
NTSB Media Brief - Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 (Jan 7) livestream
Commercial/Airline

NTSB Media Brief - Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 (Jan 7) livestream

Jan. 8, 2024
January 7, 2024: NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy briefs the media in Portland, Oregon, on the NTSB investigation involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on a Boeing 737-9 MAX.