Boeing 737 Loses Body Panel Mid-Flight, Lands Safely

Boeing 737 Loses Body Panel Mid-Flight, Lands Safely

On Friday, March 15, 2024, a Boeing 737-8000 flight landed safely in Medford, Oregon despite the fact that it was missing an entire body panel, which had fallen off mid-flight, NBC News reports. It’s the latest public failure for the company’s aircrafts. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

According to several news sources, there was no indication that there were any issues with the plane while it was in the air, so pilots had no reason to declare an emergency. No one noticed the missing panel until a post-flight inspection after the aircraft safely flew from San Francisco to southern Oregon, the AP reports.


United Airlines flight lands in Oregon with missing panel

“After the aircraft was parked at the gate, it was discovered to be missing an external panel,” a United spokesperson told AP. “We’ll conduct a thorough examination of the plane and perform all the needed repairs before it returns to service. We’ll also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has stated that it is investigating this incident.

The missing body panel was located on the underside of the plane, where the wing meets the body. It’s just next to the landing gear; landing gear has malfunctioned on other examples of Boeing aircraft.

It is currently unclear where the missing body panel landed.

In January, a Boeing Max 9 jet lost an emergency exit door just minutes into an Alaska Airlines flight. Thankfully, there were no injuries, but pilots were forced to make an emergency landing, and subsequent investigations revealed that the door plugs had been missing.

Since then, deeper investigations by the FAA have revealed that Boeing failed 33 different safety checks in 737 Max production. Unfortunately, Boeing’s security camera system automatically deletes footage after 30 days, making it more difficult to pinpoint the causes of failure.

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