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Report Suggests Boeing 737 Max Left Factory Without Door Plug Bolts

From Zero Hedge


As Alaska Airlines and United Airlines have resumed flying Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners in recent days, a new report from The Wall Street Journal finds that the incident involving a door plug being blown off an Alaska Airlines flight over Portland earlier in the month was probably caused by the lack of bolts. This issue dates back to when the aircraft was manufactured.

According to people familiar with the matter, what's becoming apparent is that the most likely scenario is that Boeing employees failed to reinstall plug door bolts at the factory after opening or removing them during production.

They pointed to the absence of markings on the door plug that would instruct factory workers to double-check if the bolts were in place and lapses in paperwork surrounding the factory's work on the doors.

When Spirit AeroSystems delivers the 737 fuselage to Boeing's Renton, Wash., factory for final assembly, the door plugs are installed. During the assembly process, the door plugs are removed and reinstalled. 

Boeing has yet to reveal how many factory workers handled the door plug. It's important to note that Spirit's factory in Malaysia makes the door. 

Last week, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.), chair of a Senate panel on aviation safety, met with Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun about door plug woes. 

"It is going to show that there has been lack of documentation when it comes with how and when those pins were installed or removed and whether or not they were reinstalled or not," said Duckworth. 

She continued: "He assured me that they were going through that entire process to make sure that they are able to track on their aircraft when these things are happening."

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration has slapped Boeing with production limits on the jets amid an investigation into the door plugs. 

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