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Boeing door plug that blew out midair made in Malaysia, investigation says

Boeing door plug that blew out midair made in Malaysia, investigation says Boeing door plug that blew out mid-air made in Malaysia (Getty Images)

The door plug that blew out mid-air on the Alaska Airlines plane was manufactured in Malaysia by Boeing’s main supplier. This fact is drawing attention to Boeing's global supply chain, which has seen a significant amount of outsourcing over the years, according to ABC News.

The investigation group shared details about their inquiry into a plane that lost part of its outer covering while flying this month. They shared that airlines have checked 40 similar planes made by Boeing. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it will analyze the inspection results before allowing these planes to carry passengers again.

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Jennifer Homendy, and FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker briefed the Senate Commerce Committee for about two hours in Washington. They are investigating how a panel on an Alaska Airlines plane came off while flying over Oregon.

Senator Jerry Moran mentioned that there was no talk of penalties during the briefing, but consequences are expected once the investigations conclude. He added that the FAA is focusing “on the challenges that Boeing has faced over a longer period of time, of which this incident, this potential disaster, was only one component.”

Boeing's CEO, David Calhoun, visited the Spirit AeroSystems factory in Kansas, pledging collaboration to improve. Both companies are under scrutiny for their work quality. The incident has led to canceled flights by Alaska and United Airlines, the only U.S. carriers using the affected planes.

“We’re going to get better” because engineers and mechanics at Boeing and Spirit “are going to learn from it, and then we’re going to apply it to literally everything else we do together,” Calhoun said.

Alaska Airlines incident

A part of the plane broke off while flying from Portland to Ontario, California, on January 5. The Boeing was carrying 174 passengers and six crew members. The door plug, usually sealed off, separated from the plane midair, causing a loud noise and letting in freezing winds. The cockpit door opened, hitting a bathroom door. Later, the door plug was found in a teacher's backyard.

Passengers of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 filed a legal case in Washington against Boeing. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded similar Boeing planes for inspection. The incident also caused a stir in the market, leading to a drop of approximately 8% in the company's stock during premarket trading.