An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX faced an emergency today after one of its doors blew open mid-air, minutes after take-off.
Videos taken by passengers show the mid-cabin exit door had completely separated from the aircraft.
“AS1282 from Portland to Ontario, CA (California) experienced an incident this evening soon after departure. The aircraft landed safely back at Portland International Airport with 171 guests and 6 crew members. We are investigating what happened and will share more as it becomes available,” Alaska Airlines said in a post on X.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in a post on X said it is investigating an event involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.
The aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 16,325 feet, before it was diverted safely back to Portland, real-time aircraft movement monitor Flightradar24 said in a social media post.
The Boeing 737 MAX involved in the incident today was delivered to Alaska Airlines on October 1, 2023 and entered commercial service on November 11, 2023; it had accumulated just 145 flights since then, Flightradar24 said.
The 737-9 MAX includes a rear cabin exit door aft of the wings, but before the rear exit door. This is activated in dense seating configurations to meet evacuation requirements. The doors are not activated on Alaska Airlines aircraft and are permanently “plugged”, Flightradar24 said.