Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 Incident: The Lost Mid-Aft Door and an iPhone Were Found

In an unexpected turn of events following the alarming incident involving Alaska Airlines flight AS1282, a Portland resident, Sean Bates, made a remarkable discovery. While walking along Barnes Road in Portland, Oregon, Bates found an iPhone that, astonishingly, had survived a fall from approximately 16,000 feet. The device, still functioning and half-charged, displayed a baggage claim receipt for Alaska Airlines flight 1282, linking it directly to the recent mid-air incident.

Sean Bates on Tiktok telling what happened

Bates’ post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, quickly went viral, accumulating over 15 million views in just 24 hours. His discovery of the phone, which lacked password protection and showed a baggage claim receipt addressed to passenger Cuong Tran, captured widespread attention. Bates promptly contacted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), learning from agent Zoe that this was the second phone recovered from the flight.

The incident’s investigation took another significant turn when a Portland school teacher, identified as Bob, found the door plug covering the missing exit door in their backyard. NTSB Chair Jennifer Homenday emphasized the importance of the door plug in understanding the incident’s cause. Other objects, including a seat back, headrests, and a tray table, were also reportedly ejected from the aircraft during the ordeal.

Flight AS1282, operated by Alaska Airlines, experienced a critical malfunction shortly after takeoff from Portland International Airport. The aircraft, registration N704AL, was ascending normally until the left door plug was suddenly ejected at an altitude of 16,000 feet. The pilots promptly declared an emergency, and the aircraft descended rapidly for a safe landing back at Portland, with only minor injuries reported among the 171 passengers and six crew members.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reacted swiftly to the incident by ordering the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in the United States. United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, which collectively operate 171 of these aircraft, were directly affected by this directive. Other countries and airlines, including India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Copa Airlines, Aeromexico, and Turkish Airlines, have followed suit, grounding their 737 MAX 9 fleets for further inspection.

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