Airline finds loose bolts on Boeing aircrafts days after plane door blown off mid-flight

United Airlines says it has found loose bolts and other problems on a key part of its grounded Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners, ITV News' Sally Biddulph reports

Another airline has found fault with Boeing 737 Max 9 planes after a door blew off mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines aircraft and landed in a person's garden.

Loose bolts have now been found on some Boeing 737 Max 9's owned by United Airlines as inspectors investigate what happened on the Alaska Airlines flight.

On Friday, a section of the fuselage fell from an Alaska Airlines mid-flight, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

In response, the US government grounded all Boeing 737 Max 9's while investigations were carried out.

Carrying out inspections on its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9 United Airlines announced on Monday it had found loose bolts and other "installation issues" on some of its fleet.

The missing door has been recovered. Credit: AP

United said: "Since we began preliminary inspections on Saturday, we have found instances that appear to relate to installation issues in the door plug – for example, bolts that needed additional tightening."

Alaska Airlines has 64 other Max 9s, and United Airlines owns 79 of them. No other US airline operates the plane.

The missing part of the Alaska Airlines flight was found in a school teacher's garden in Portland, authorities said on Monday.

The teacher called Bob reached out to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) after he found the missing Boeing 737 Max 9 fuselage door plug in his yard.

No passengers during the flight were seated directly next to the section of the plane that blew off, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said on Saturday.

Alaska Airlines said it was working with Boeing to understand what took place on Flight 1282. Credit: AP

“It’s fortunate that nobody died and there were not more serious injuries,” Ms Homendy told CNN after touring the aircraft.

Investigators were preparing to interview the flight crew, she said.

On the Alaska Airlines flight, a passenger’s video posted to social media shows a side section of the fuselage, where a window would have been, missing – exposing passengers to the outside air.

The video, which appears to have been taken from several rows behind the incident, shows oxygen masks deployed throughout the airplane, and least two people sitting near and just behind the missing section.

The agency had asked for the public’s help finding the part and had plans of possibly using a helicopter or drones to continue the search on Sunday.

The plane involved is a relatively new aircraft. Credit: AP

Ms Homendy had explained locating the missing part would provide key clues as to why it separated from the airplane.

The jetliner in question was already not being used for long flights over water because of a warning light that could have indicated a pressurisation problem lit up on three different flights, a federal official also said on Sunday.

The ordeal last week resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to temporarily ground 171 planes until they are carefully inspected.

Audio has been released on Monday which shows the pilot calmly navigating the plane to safety as she communicates with air traffic control.

"Yes, we are in an emergency, we are depressurized, we do need to return back to, we have 177 passengers".

Alaska Airlines said that emergency inspections of its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9 planes “will take more time,” warning flight disruptions will likely continue.

On Tuesday, Boeing is scheduled to hold an all-employee meeting at its 737 Max factory in Renton, Washington, “focused on safety” and the company’s response to the accident, Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun said in a company-wide email.

“It is critical for us to work transparently with our customers and regulators to understand and address the causes of the event and to ensure they don’t happen again,” Mr Calhoun said in the email.

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