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Panel Missing From Boeing Jet After United Flight Lands

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty

A United Airlines flight was missing an external panel when it landed at its destination in Oregon—the latest in a series of mechanical problems for the carrier and jet manufacturer Boeing.

In a statement, United did not say how the panel vanished, or whether it happened while the Boeing 737-800 was en route from San Francisco to Medford.

“We’ll conduct a thorough examination of the plane and perform all the needed repairs before it returns to service. We’ll also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred,” it said.

“There was no indication of the damage during the flight,” the airline said, explaining why no emergency was declared.

The damage was discovered after Flight 433—with 139 passengers and six crew members on board—landed at Rogue Valley International/Medford Airport and parked at the gate.

The Federal Aviation Administration told The Daily Beast it is investigating.

Boeing Executives Can’t Keep Getting Away With This

The mystery mishap comes barely two months after a panel of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max jetliner blew out in midair, forcing an emergency landing after the cabin depressurized and a passenger was nearly sucked out.

An audit by the FAA found a series of problems with Boeing’s production methods, and the company said in a staff memo this week that it is taking “immediate actions” to address issues.

United has also experience a slew of incident in recent days: a hydraulic leak on an Airbus plane just before landing in San Francisco on Thursday; a fluid leak from the landing gear of a Boeing 777-300 midflight from Sydney to San Francisco on Monday; a Boeing 737 Max 8 rolling off the runway after landing in Houston on March 8; and a wheel falling off a Boeing 777-200 shortly after takeoff from San Francisco on March 7.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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