Advertisement

A Boeing plane lost an external panel mid-flight, in the latest troubling incident for the airline maker

A Boeing plane lost an external panel mid-flight, in the latest troubling incident for the airline maker
  • A Boeing plane lost an external panel mid-flight before landing safely in Oregon.

  • United Airlines and the FAA said they would be investigating how this happened.

  • The incident is the latest negative publicity for Boeing, following a series of high-profile safety incidents.

A Boeing plane lost an external panel mid-flight before landing safely in Oregon, in the latest embarrassment for the airline manufacturer.

A spokesperson for United Airlines told Business Insider that United Flight 433, which was carrying 139 passengers and six crew, landed at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport after taking off from San Francisco.

"After the aircraft was parked at the gate, it was discovered to be missing an external panel," the statement said.

"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 Rogue Valley Times published a photo showing the underbelly of the plane with a missing panel.

When the external panel was discovered to be missing, the airport paused operations to search the runway and airfield for debris, but none were found, the airport's director, Amber Judd, said, per ABC News.

When asked for comment, Boeing referred BI to United Airlines.

The plane was 25 years old. Most commercial planes operate until they are around 30 years old, according to Flightradar24.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating how the plane lost the panel.

United confirmed that the plane was a Boeing 737-800, which is not one of the newer Max aircraft involved in multiple high-profile safety incidents in recent months.

In January, an Alaska Airlines flight lost part of its fuselage mid-flight, and two of the largest Max 9 operators — Alaska and United — have since said they found loose bolts on door plugs of other 737 Max 9's in their fleet.

Just last week, a United Airlines-operated Boeing 737 Max rolled off the runway and onto grass in Houston.

Boeing has faced scrutiny after the string of safety incidents, prompting investigations into the company's safety and quality standards during its production process.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told employees in January that the company needs to admit its mistakes after the Alaska Airlines blow-out.

Read the original article on Business Insider