April 23, 2024 at 3:36 pm

Remember The Door Plug That Blew Out Of A Boeing Mid-Flight? We’re Getting To The Bottom Of Why.

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Flickr

Boeing has had more than their fair share of trouble lately, as far as quality control issues that could have ended badly in the air.

Now, we’re getting a few answers as to what might have caused a door plug to blow off mid-flight – and it’s not looking good as far as redeeming the company.

The incident in question took place on a Boeing 737, and what’s coming out is some seemingly-shady chaos going down at the factory in the days before it happened.

The factory uses Shipside Action Tracker, and according to some of the entries, production on the 737 MAX jet had stalled after workers flagged damaged rivets on its fuselage as an issue.

Source: Flickr

They tried to increase the priority of their issue, but they were struggling to replace the damaged rivets around the door plug in a timely manner.

The result was management at Boeing trying to move things along even more quickly.

The 737 fuselages were supplied by Spirit AeroSystems, and even though Boeing knew there were defects, they used them anyway.

They moved the fuselages along the production line with the (alleged) intention of addressing the problems later in order to not gum up the works.

At least one veteran Boeing employee wonders whether the pressure could be partly to blame.

“Years ago, we weren’t going this fast. I’m not saying fast caused the problem. Something happened. I don’t know what it was.”

Entries in the work logs grew more concerning as time went on.


Another, days after the previous one, reads “Damaged rivets are not acceptable and need to be removed and replaced.”

The most glaring omission seems to be workers not documenting the removal of the door plug’s bolts, which would have been done in order to access the faulty rivets.

If this process had been completed, the quality assurance team would have noticed the issue, says the employee.

“I was, like, ‘What the h—?’ Boeing does a great job especially on documentation. If you take something out, you’ve got to write a removal.”

Everyone involved in the incident, the manufacturing, and the inquiry seems to agree that the only thing that kept passengers from losing their lives was luck.

These work logs seem to indicate the problems are common practice, and should give travelers a lot to think about before they step on another Boeing 737 MAX.

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