On Friday, an Alaska Airlines flight traveling from Oregon to Southern California was forced to make an emergency landing following a mid-air incident that caused a portion of the aircraft’s fuselage to detach.
Flight 1282, carrying 174 passengers and 6 crew members, landed safely at Portland International Airport, confirmed by Port of Portland spokesperson Allison Ferre.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the aircraft returned to the airport after the crew experienced a pressurization issue. A passenger on board, Kyle Rinker, shared a photo on social media platform X, depicting a missing panel from the side of the fuselage, with the caption, “When the wall of the plane just breaks off mid flight.”
BREAKING:— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) January 6, 2024
An Alaska Airlines plane has made an emergency landing in Portland after a part of the plan disintegrated mid-flight.
Phones and other items were sucked out through the hole, but fortunately no passengers were seated in the vicinity. https://t.co/he01H33pCw
Alaska Airlines Prioritizes Safety in Wake of Rare Aerial Event
Alaska Airlines addressed the occurrence as an “incident” and emphasized their commitment to safety. “The safety of our guests and employees is always our primary priority, so while this type of occurrence is rare, our flight crew was trained and prepared to safely manage the situation,” the airline stated.
The aircraft, identified as a Boeing 737 MAX 9 by FlightAware, took off from Portland at 4:52 p.m. and returned at 5:27 p.m., originally destined for Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County, California.
Ongoing Investigations by NTSB, FAA, and Alaska Airlines into Flight Anomaly
Boeing has acknowledged the incident, stating, “We are working to gather more information and are in contact with our airline customer. A Boeing technical team stands ready to support the investigation.”
The incident is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, the FAA, and Alaska Airlines. There were no injuries reported.