Passengers reported a midair pressure issue causing damage to the fuselage, reported The New York Times.
However, the airline said that Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 had made a safe emergency landing carrying 171 passengers and six crew members.
“Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections. We anticipate all inspections will be completed in the next few days,” Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, and the company said it will fully support its investigation.
Earlier, Boeing’s Max planes faced challenges with two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019, leading to a global grounding of the Max 8 jets, noted The New York Times.
Passengers on the Friday flight recounted a tense 15-minute experience as the plane returned to the airport. Yellow oxygen masks hung above them as a strong wind blew through a large hole, revealing the night sky and city lights below, the report read.
According to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration, the crew reported a “pressurization issue” before the emergency landing. The Association of Flight Attendants at Alaska Airlines described the decompression as “explosive,” noting that one attendant had suffered minor injuries.
Vi Nguyen of Portland, a passenger, revealed that she was awakened by a loud noise during the flight. Subsequently, she noticed a significant hole in the side of the aircraft, the report said.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘I’m going to die,'” she added.
Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 took off for Ontario International Airport at 5:07 p.m., diverting back to Portland six minutes later, per FlightAware, according to The New York Times.
Reaching a peak altitude of approximately 16,000 feet and a speed exceeding 440 miles per hour, it landed in Portland at 5:27 p.m. As of early Saturday, the cause of the midair issue remained unclear.
“We are aware of the incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. 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,” Boeing said in a statement.
This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.