FBI Investigating Alaska 737 MAX-9 Blowout?

By Spyros Georgilidakis | March 22, 2024

The FBI has reportedly contacted the passengers of the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX-9 that lost a door plug because they could be crime victims.

FBI Investigating Alaska 737 MAX-9 Blowout?
Photo: NTSB

Boeing continues to suffer from the repercussions of the Alaska Air Flight 1282 accident, that happened on the 5th of January this year. Its airline customers are also considering their options, since Boeing’s production rate looks set to remain below 38 737s per month, over the next several months.

But Boeing may also be the subject of a criminal investigation. The Department of Justice is investigating the 737 MAX-9 blowout – and the FBI is the DOJ’s investigative arm. Passengers that were on board the 737 MAX-9 whose door plug flew off in January, have reportedly received letters from the FBI.

Photo: @JacdecNew via X (formerly Twitter)

These letters confirm that a criminal investigation is taking place. Last week, the Department of Justice started sending subpoenas for this investigation, after convening a grand jury in Seattle. The FBI could soon ask to interview passengers who were on board the 737 MAX-9 flight.

FBI MAX-9 Investigation: No Details Yet

Officially, the FBI still can’t confirm any details of its investigation into the MAX-9 blowout. A number of those on board are already suing Boeing for the event, but a criminal investigation is a separate matter.

FBI Investigating Alaska 737 MAX-9 Blowout?
Opened plug (left) and closed later (right) during interior work. Photos: Boeing via NTSB

This investigation is also separate from that of the NTSB. A few weeks ago, NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy told a Senate hearing that the agency still hadn’t been able to interview key Boeing personnel, involved in opening the mid-cabin door plug.

The FBI investigation is separate from the NTSB’s. But the fact that the two investigations are taking place concurrently, could perhaps affect those that the two agencies wish to interview.

Photo: NTSB

In yet another development, several airline CEOs will meet with Boeing board chair Larry Kellner – without Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun. Reports suggest that the airline CEOs specifically wanted to talk with Kellner.

The airlines involved include American, United, Southwest, and Alaska Airlines. Other airline CEOs are also arranging separate meetings with Boeing executives.


1 comment

  • Iskender Kutlucinar

    What I read and thought about this about the Flight attendants, they heard the whistle noise before in that area, is that why they didn’t put a passenger on that seat?

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