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Boeing Max 9 Jets Remain Grounded as Airlines Await Inspection Instructions

Boeing Max 9 Jets Remain Grounded as Airlines Await Inspection Instructions

A Boeing passenger jet model, the 737 Max 9, remained grounded in the United States on Sunday as airlines awaited instructions from the plane maker and the Federal Aviation Administration on how to inspect the planes and resume service, two days after a harrowing flight raised concerns about the jet.

No one was seriously injured in the episode on an Alaska Airlines flight on Friday night in which a portion of a Max 9 fuselage blew out in midair, exposing passengers to howling wind. The plane landed safely, but the event, on a flight from Portland, Ore., to Ontario, Calif., has spooked travelers and prompted an immediate call for safety inspections on Max 9 planes with similar seat configurations.

Boeing and the F.A.A. were working to draft a message to airlines — primarily Alaska and United Airlines — with detailed instructions on how to inspect the planes, according to a person familiar with the process. Those discussions were well underway on Sunday, and the F.A.A. has final approval over the contents of the message, as is typically the case.

In the meantime, Alaska, United and other carriers said they had parked all their Max 9 planes, despite stating on Saturday that some were deemed safe to fly. The federal authorities have focused attention on a mid-cabin door plug, which was part of the plane body that was torn out at an altitude of 16,000 feet on Friday and is used to fill the space where an emergency exit would be placed if the plane were configured with more seats.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading an investigation into the episode, has not identified a cause and is searching for the missing piece of the plane. The board said it would look into a wide range of possible factors including F.A.A. oversight, Boeing’s manufacturing process and installation or maintenance work done on the plane.

“Everything’s in, we go very broad, nothing’s excluded,” Jennifer Homendy, the chairwoman of the board, said at a news conference on Saturday night.

The Federal Aviation Administration said on Saturday that the required inspections would affect 171 Max 9 planes operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. It said the inspections should take four to eight hours per plane to complete. Airlines abroad, including Turkish Airlines and Copa Airlines in Panama, also parked Max 9 planes.

The F.A.A. order contributed to hundreds of canceled flights over the weekend. Alaska, which has 65 Max 9 planes, said it had canceled 170…

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