The grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft was extended indefinitely pending new safety inspections and a review of the findings after a cabin panel flew off one of the jets last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday.
The continued grounding, which has affected 171 jets, followed a horrifying Jan. 5 incident in which a door plug on an Alaskan Airlines plane suddenly broke off mid-flight while the aircraft was 16,000 feet in the air, forcing the flight to make an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon.
“We are working to make sure nothing like this happens again,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker told Fox News Digital.
“Our only concern is the safety of American travelers and the Boeing 737-9 Max will not return to the skies until we are entirely satisfied it is safe.”
The aviation regulator said Monday that the grounding would be lifted after the planes were inspected.
On Friday, the FAA said 40 aircraft needed to be reinspected and review the results to see if the Max 9s were safe enough to fly again.
Since last week’s midair horror show, Alaska and United Airlines said they discovered loose bolts, hardware as well as other issues after conducting inspections on their grounded Max 9 jets.
With Post wires