"Made In Malaysia" Was Found Handwritten On Door Plug That Blew Off Alaska Airlines Flight

A door plug tore off the Boeing 737 Max 9 mid-flight last week, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the plane.

Cover image via OPB & Reuters/The Independent

Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and WhatsApp for the latest stories and breaking news.

A handwritten "Made in Malaysia" inscription has been found on the blown-off door plug of Alaska Airlines flight 1282, in Portland, Oregon, in the US

In a report by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), school teacher Bob Sauer said he found the door plug that tore off the Boeing 737 Max 9 plane mid-flight last week in some trees in his backyard.

"The trees broke the fall like an airbag would. So, it didn't hit the ground very hard," Sauer told OPB.

He then called the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the find.

Sauer said the NTSB staff were both surprised and happy that the door remained intact, even though it had fallen off the plane at an altitude of about 16,000 feet (4,877m).

However, he was most intrigued to see the door plug's serial number and other manufacturing details apparently handwritten on the door in permanent marker.

"That's an interesting way of doing inventory control," he commented.

The missing door plug from the Alaska Airlines flight, which was found by a teacher in his backyard.

Image via OPB
Image via OPB

Last Friday, 5 January, the Alaska Airlines flight heading to Ontario, California was forced to make an emergency landing when the panel tore off the side of the plane mid-flight

According to NBC News, only a few minutes after takeoff, passengers said they heard "a loud bang".

Photos and videos later uploaded by passengers showed a gaping hole in the side of the plane.

The aircraft, carrying 174 passengers and six crew members, was able to turn around and land safely back at Portland International Airport.

No serious injuries were reported. Some passengers sitting closest to the hole only reported the loss of personal items such as handphones and clothes, which were sucked out of the hole midair.

The panel that broke loose covered an opening on the Boeing aircraft that can be used for emergency exits

Some airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, use door plugs to cover the exits because they are not needed for their lower-density seat configurations.

NTSB investigators suggest that the panel was not affixed adequately.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has since announced a formal investigation into Boeing after the incident

"This incident should have never happened and it cannot happen again," the FAA said in a statement on Thursday, 11 January.

The agency said it notified Boeing of its investigation, which will look into whether the aircraft manufacturer "failed to ensure completed products conformed to its approved design and were in a condition for safe operation in compliance with FAA regulations".

Last week, the FAA ordered the temporary grounding of all 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircrafts installed with the same panel worldwide, to clear safety inspections.

Meanwhile, local news outlet the New Straits Times has reached out to the Malaysian Transport Ministry and the NTSB for clarification on the inscriptions on the door plug.

According to OPB, Boeing said they could not address the inscriptions because of the active investigation by NTSB.

Read more recent news on SAYS:

You may be interested in: