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FAA recommends inspections for more Boeing models after door blowout

The US Federal Aviation Administration has recommended that airlines inspect door plugs on Boeing 737-900ER jets after a blowout on another type of aircraft with a similar mid-cabin exit earlier this month. The aviation regulator said in a statement late Sunday that operators “are encouraged to conduct a visual inspection to ensure the door plug is restrained from any movements.” The move follows the near-catastrophic mid-flight loss of a cabin door on an Alaska Airlines-operated 737 MAX on January 5. In response, US regulators grounded 171 jets from the 737 MAX 9 fleet with the same configuration as the plane involved in the incident. The FAA said it would return the 737-9 MAX to service once safety was established. The affected door plug panel is used to fill an unneeded emergency exit in planes, and National Transportation Safety Board investigators have suggested that the part was not affixed adequately. Boeing’s 737-900ER model is an older generation than the MAX family, but according to the FAA it has an “identical door plug design.” AFP has contacted Boeing for comment.

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