Now Reading
Brand New Alaska Airlines Boeing 737MAX Suffers Terrifying ‘Explosive Depressurization’ as Emergency Exit is Blown Out of Aircraft Midflight

Brand New Alaska Airlines Boeing 737MAX Suffers Terrifying ‘Explosive Depressurization’ as Emergency Exit is Blown Out of Aircraft Midflight

a man sitting in an airplane

A brand new Boeing 737 MAX 9 operated by Alaska Airlines suffered a ‘rapid depressurization’ on Friday evening after a deactivated emergency exit blew out at 16,000 feet shortly after takeoff from Portland.

Miraculously, all 171 passengers and six crew members onboard flight 1282 to Ontario escaped without injury after the pilots successfully made an emergency landing back at Portland Airport.


Girls’ trip turned into emergency landing trip… #alaska #alaskaair

♬ original sound – vy 🍓

Flight attendants onboard the aircraft, which was delivered to Alaska Airlines from aircraft manufacturer Boeing less than a month ago, described the depressurization as ‘explosive’ and one of the four flight attendants onboard the plane suffered minor injuries.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 has a maximum of 10 emergency exits, two sets of full-sized doors at the front and rear of the aircraft, four window-sized overwing exits and a set of half-sized emergency exits approximately two-thirds down the aircraft.

These half-sized exits are designed for high-capacity configurations of the MAX 9, but in the layout chosen by Alaska, these exits have been permanently deactivated or, in aviation speak ‘plugged’.

a white airplane with a door open
a person standing in the back of an airplane
a man sitting in an airplane
Alaska flight 1282

From a passenger’s viewpoint, there is no way of knowing that you are sitting at a plugged exit because the cabin looks normal from the inside. From the outside, however, you can see the outline of where an exit could be.

Alaska flight 1282 departed Portland at approximately 5:06 pm on Friday and climbed to around 16,300 feet before the deactivated suddenly blew out and the pilots initiated an emergency descent.

Passengers onboard the aircraft quickly donned their oxygen masks, which automatically dropped from the ceiling above as the aircraft, registered as N704A, suffered a rapid depressurization.

Thankfully, no one was sitting in the seat immediately adjacent to the deactivated emergency exit.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have both confirmed they are investigating the incident. In a statement, Boeing noted that it was “working to gather more information and are in contact with our airline customer.”

“A Boeing technical team stands ready to support the investigation,” the statement continued.

“The situation could have turned catastrophic without the exceptional skills and professionalism of the working Flight Attendants and pilots,” the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) said in the hours after the accident.

“We commend the entire crew for their outstanding work under such trying circumstances.”

“Alaska Airlines management must take all necessary and immediate action required to ensure the safety of crew members and passengers in light of today’s events,” a spokesperson for the union said.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 was the first variant of the MAX family that Alaska took delivery of, and the airline now operates 65 MAX-9 aircraft, all of which have a plugged set of emergency exits.

View Comments (2)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2023 All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.