THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

Near-tragedy during flight raises concerns about airplane safety

On January 7 Alaska Airlines suffered from a panel blowout on flight 1282 from Portland, OR to Ontario, CA. This incident was due to a manufacturing defect in the Boeing 737 MAX 9 model which resulted in the loss of the essential door plug. 

The passengers closest to the missing door panel were the most affected. There were no serious injuries involved but the passengers closest to the blowout had minor scratches. There was a 15-year-old who was sitting by the door who was saved by his seatbelt but his shirt was ripped off of him from the pressure. The boy rushed himself to an empty seat a few rows ahead of the missing panel. 

The blown out door plug was found by a high school physics teacher, Bob Sauer. He found the lost plug in his backyard. 

“Once it got dark, I went out with my flashlight and in my backyard, which is forested, very dark. There was something gleaming that shouldn’t have been there. And when I got closer, I found out it was the door plug that had come from the plane.”

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Sauer turned in the door plug to the police so that further investigation could occur. 

Plane safety is an important aspect of selecting which plane to fly in and the risk that those passengers went through was not a good look for Alaska Airlines. The permanent reputation of Alaska Airlines could be damaged due to the large digital footprint that the incident had. It was filmed and photographed by multiple terrified passengers. Although no passengers were seriously harmed by the incident, many of them are mentally harmed by the traumatic situation.

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About the Contributor
Achlys Cisneros, Centerspread Editor
Achlys Cisneros is a senior at Hart High School. This is Cisneros’ third and final year in Hart’s journalism class. She is the Centerspread editor for The Smoke Signal because of her love for graphic design. Outside of school, Cisneros loves to go to the beach and play volleyball with friends. She also is a member of Grace Community Church and enjoys going to her church's youth group.
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