FAA Urges Inspection of Boeing 737-900ER Door Plugs Amid Safety Concerns

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has advised airlines operating Boeing 737-900ER aircraft to conduct inspections on door plugs to ensure they are securely fastened. 

This recommendation came in response to reports of unspecified bolt issues discovered during inspections by certain operators.

The FAA’s decision follows the grounding of 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes after an incident on January 5, where a door plug experienced a mid-air cabin blowout on an eight-week-old Alaska Airlines MAX 9 jet.

While the 737-900ER is not part of the newer MAX fleet, it shares the same door plug design, which allows for the installation of an additional emergency exit door when airlines choose to add more seats.

The FAA issued a “Safety Alert for Operators,” revealing that some airlines had conducted extra inspections on the 737-900ER mid-exit door plugs and had identified bolt issues during maintenance inspections. In response, the FAA recommended that air carriers promptly perform specific maintenance procedures related to the four bolts securing the door plug to the airframe.