Critical Door Plug Recovered in Investigation of Alaska Airlines Midflight Detachment

Portland, Oregon – A missing door plug that could hold crucial information regarding the mystery of why it detached from an Alaska Airlines plane midflight has been discovered in the backyard of a resident in the Portland area. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy announced this development at a news conference after providing an update on the investigation’s progress. Homendy expressed her gratitude to the resident, identified only as Bob, a schoolteacher, who sent two photos of the item to the NTSB. The agency plans to analyze the door plug as part of its investigation.

Alongside the door plug, two cell phones have also been found, one in a yard and another on the side of the road, according to Homendy. These discoveries mark a significant step forward in the investigation into the incident on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.

However, Homendy also highlighted some challenges faced by the NTSB. The cockpit voice recorder’s recording of the event was unintentionally overwritten, which Homendy described as “unfortunate” and emphasized the importance of this information for both the investigation and aviation safety. She expressed frustration at the loss of valuable voice data.

Homendy raised the issue of expanding the minimum recording time on these devices from two hours to 25 hours. Such an extension would have preserved the cockpit voice data from the accident. She stressed the significance of this change for enhancing safety measures.

The chaotic moments aboard the Boeing 737 Max 9 were also described during the news conference. The flight crew reported hearing a loud noise and experienced rapid depressurization, causing communication problems amidst the crew. The cockpit door was forcefully blown open during the explosive decompression, and a laminated checklist disappeared from the plane. Homendy spoke highly of the flight crew’s actions amid the violent incident.

Interior damage to the plane was also revealed, with seats in row 26 experiencing extreme force, resulting in frame distortion and missing headrests and seat backs. The safety of three babies held in the laps of caregivers during the incident raised concerns. Although the FAA, NTSB, and Alaska Airlines all recommend that young children travel in separate, ticketed seats secured with car seats, it is not mandatory.

The investigation is specifically focused on analyzing the door plug and the manner in which it was fastened before being expelled from the plane. Authorities are also looking into air pressurization alerts on previous flights and whether there is any connection to Friday’s accident. The structural integrity of the aircraft was declared intact by Homendy, who highlighted various features of the door plug that will be closely examined.

In conclusion, the discovery of the missing door plug and additional evidence in Portland, Oregon, brings new insights to the investigation into the Alaska Airlines flight incident. The NTSB will analyze the door plug, cell phones, and other crucial elements to unravel the cause of the door detachment and ensure future aviation safety measures are improved.