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    A Design Flaw in the Boeing MAX9 Aircraft?

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    Posted on January 6, 2024 To
    A Design Flaw in the Boeing MAX9 Aircraft?

    FAA Grounds That Type of Plane as Top Aviation Attorney Robert Clifford Says FAA’s Swift Action May Signal Serious Concern About Possible Defect in the Fleet

    As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounds all Boeing MAX9 aircraft across the country following the emergency landing last night (Friday, Jan. 5, 2024) of one of those planes. Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago and Lead Counsel in the pending civil litigation in federal court regarding the defective Boeing MAX8 aircraft, says that the FAA’s swift action indicates serious concerns that a defect may exist in the MAX9’s.

    “The Alaska Air and FAA grounding of the MAX 9 fleet via Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) less than 24 hours after the Alaska Airlines fuselage plug structural failure is a clear indication that Boeing, Alaska Airlines, the NTSB, and the FAA have determined that there is a defect in the Boeing 737 MAX 9 plug structure. Once the FAA publishes the EAD later today we will know more specifics about the defect and FAA-required inspections.”

    Clifford represents some 70 victims of families who lost loved ones in the March 2018 crash of a MAX8 Boeing jet that killed all 157 on board. The worldwide grounding of that aircraft for nearly two years took three days and the U.S. didn’t do so until 51 other regulators around the world had taken such action. The crash of ET302 was the second crash in less than five months of that type of aircraft that killed 346 people.

    Alaska Airlines has grounded the Boeing MAX9 jets after a window and a chunk of the fuselage blew out of the plane shortly after takeoff, causing the aircraft to make an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon, late Friday night (Jan. 5, 2024). After about six minutes of flight, while climbing through 16,000 feet altitude at close to 450 mph, the Boeing 737 MAX left rear door plug reportedly failed under cabin pressurization and flew out into the atmosphere, instantly depressurizing the airplane and subjecting all passengers to extreme cold temperatures and hypoxia-inducing low oxygen levels. About 14 minutes of terror later, the infamous Boeing 737 MAX airliner landed back at Portland where NTSB and FAA safety investigators are once again investigating a major 737 MAX safety problem.

    “The focus appears to be a plug that is the result of an overall design in the Boeing MAX9 aircraft dictated by foreign operators such as Ryan Air who added seats to the same fuselage, which most American operators chose not to do. By adding the seats, they needed another exit row,” Clifford explained. “When you don’t have the extra seats, you don’t have the exit door. That means that the plug that is supposed to have a sealing mechanism that prevents it from ever opening could be compromised. The fact that they are grounding the aircraft to order inspections likely means that the FAA is focused on the integrity of that sealing mechanism. That will then lead to a deep inquiry into what the FAA was told about that mechanism by Boeing and how it affected the certification process. Is this another MCAS story in the making? Only time will tell.”

    MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) is a new software system that Boeing installed on its MAX8 aircraft without telling the FAA, pilots or the flying public. Nor was information about MCAS included in flight manuals for pilots to learn how to use and they were never trained on it prior to the two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

    Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reportedly are on the scene in Portland, Oregon, examining the damaged aircraft that reportedly rolled off the assembly line two months ago and is touted as the newest version of the Boeing 737.

    For further information or to speak to Robert A. Clifford or the aviation team at Clifford Law Offices, contact the firm’s Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).