Boeing Issues Memo To Airlines Following Plane’s Accidental Plunge

boeing to pay $50 million compensation

Following last week’s incident in which a LATAM Airlines plane went downward in mid-flight, leading aircraft manufacturer Boeing is asking airlines to review switches on cockpit seats on their 787 Dreamliner flights as a precaution.

Although Boeing did not link this memo to what occurred on LATAM Flight 800, which flew from Australia to New Zealand, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that the advisory was issued in response to the terrifying incident and that the agency was assembling a panel of experts to review the manufacturer’s message to airlines.

LATAM Airlines, based in Chile, initially reported the incident as “a technical event during the flight which caused a strong movement” before later updating that the aircraft “experienced a strong shake during flight, the cause of which is currently under investigation.”

Passengers onboard reported being flung from their seats and into the cabin ceiling and passageways when the Dreamliner plummeted unexpectedly. Emergency services in Auckland recorded around 50 injuries as a result of the event.

The 787 Dreamliner, first debuted in 2011, is generally utilized for long international flights, and the variant implicated in the LATAM incident can seat up to 300 passengers. Leading US carriers, such as United Airlines and American Airlines, operate a large number of these aircraft as part of their long-haul fleet. However, American Airlines stated that Boeing’s advice would have no influence on its operations, and United Airlines had no response.

Boeing recommends that airlines examine the switches to ensure they are properly covered, as they should not be used during flights, and provide information on how to deactivate the seat motor.

Meanwhile, Chile’s aviation regulator has sent inspectors to New Zealand to head the probe into the incident, as per international practice. The investigation has yet to produce official results.

This latest in-flight accident may exacerbate the scrutiny that Boeing is already facing, as the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Justice Department continue to conduct their own investigations into the January mishap involving an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 aircraft whose door plug blew out and depressurized the cabin during its descent.

That incident appeared to set off a chain reaction of unfortunate events involving Boeing planes, including the 737 Max 9 being grounded for inspection, the FAA ordering the manufacturer to halt production expansion, and more unsettling incidents—including one in which a plane’s engine burst into flames and another in which a wheel fell off during takeoff, landing on cars in a nearby parking lot.


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