Emergency: Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Returns Safely to PDX After Depressurization Scare

PORTLAND, Ore. – An Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to Ontario, California experienced a depressurization shortly after takeoff on Friday afternoon. The incident prompted the plane, Alaska flight 1282, to return to Portland International Airport (PDX) without any further issues.

The missing part of the aircraft’s fuselage, which was later confirmed to be an exit door, was discovered upon landing. Photos taken by commercial pilot and flight instructor Robert Katz indicate that the door was ripped off violently.

Passengers on the flight described the harrowing experience. Evan Smith, a passenger on board, recalled hearing a loud bang and a whooshing sound, followed by the immediate deployment of oxygen masks. Smith also witnessed a young boy’s shirt being sucked off him and out of the plane, while his mother desperately held onto him.

The Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft had reached an altitude of 16,000 feet before the decision to return to the airport was made. The pilot communicated the emergency situation to air traffic control, stating the need for the 177 passengers and six crew members on board to return to the airport due to depressurization.

Alaska Airlines has released a statement acknowledging the incident and assuring that an investigation is underway to determine the cause. The CEO of Alaska Airlines, Ben Minicucci, expressed the airline’s commitment to safety and the grounding of their fleet of 65 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft as a precautionary measure. Each aircraft will undergo thorough maintenance and safety inspections before being returned to service.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently investigating the event, with full support from Alaska Airlines and Boeing. Passengers affected by the grounding of the fleet are being provided with guidance and support from the airline. Further updates on the incident will be shared as more information becomes available.

In conclusion, an Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to Ontario experienced a depressurization, prompting an emergency return to Portland International Airport. The missing part of the aircraft’s fuselage was identified as an exit door. Alaska Airlines has temporarily grounded its fleet of Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft and is conducting thorough maintenance and safety inspections. The NTSB is investigating the incident, and affected passengers are being provided with assistance and reaccommodation options.