DOJ opens criminal probe into Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX ‘door plug’ incident

The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into an incident that occurred on an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

As previously reported, during a Jan. 5th flight, a Boeing 737 Max 9 had to be immediately grounded after a “door plug” burst off shortly after the plane took off from Portland International Airport.

“I open my eyes and the first thing I see is the oxygen mask right in front of me,” Alaska Airlines flight 1282 passenger Vi Nguyen told The New York Times at the time. “And I look to the left and the wall on the side of the plane is gone. The first thing I thought was, ‘I’m going to die.'”

From the sounds of it, the new investigation by the DOJ isn’t targeting Alaska Airlines over the incident but rather Boeing.

“The probe would inform the Justice Department’s review of whether Boeing complied with an earlier settlement that resolved a federal investigation following two fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019,” The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Plus, Alaska Airlines said in a statement that it doesn’t believe it’s the target: “In an event like this, it’s normal for the DOJ to be conducting an investigation. We are fully cooperating and do not believe we are a target of the investigation.”

The Journal further notes that in recent weeks, investigators with the Transportation Department’s Inspector General’s office have been trying to interview the Federal Aviation Administration officials who oversee Boeing’s manufacturing.

Why so much focus on Boeing? It all boils down to the previously mentioned settlement.

“In that case, the Justice Department faulted Boeing for how it communicated with the FAA about a 737 MAX flight-control system that later sent the jets into fatal nosedives,” according to the Journal.

“The accidents took 346 lives. Boeing admitted that two former employees misled FAA officials about how much pilot training the system would require,” the Journal notes.

If the DOJ ultimately determines that Boeing violated the terms of the settlement, it could be in serious trouble and “face prosecution on the original count of defrauding the U.S. ”

Or the Biden administration could just “seek to extend the probationary, three-year agreement that requires Boeing to update the Justice Department on its compliance improvements.”

However, and this is where things get eerie, the “[i]nvestigators have taken steps to begin notifying Alaska passengers on board during the Jan. 5 accident that they are potential crime victims in the case,” according to the Journal.

All this comes amid a debate on how the incorporation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies are affecting the reliability of companies like Boeing.

In fact, after a Boeing plane slid off the runway at a Houston airport last week, Fox News contributor Sean Duffy explicitly blamed DEI for this and other incidents, including the door one that occurred in January.

“When did we almost have all of these accidents — when did doors fly off?” he said. “This is a pilot. He has landed. He’s on his way to the gate. He went off the runway, it appears. This is a pilot problem. It brings everyone to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

“Are we hiring the best pilots, the best mechanics, the best air traffic controllers? I don’t care what your race, your sex, your religion. I just want the best people, and if you don’t hire the best people for these jobs, these bad things happen,” he added.

Listen via Fox News’ “Outnumbered“:

The Dallas Express notes that the latest Boeing incident comes just weeks after a Feb. 28th incident, “when an American Airlines intercontinental flight from New York to Madrid had to be rerouted to Boston due to a crack in the plane’s windshield.”

Following this incident, an X user with the name “Kieth M” wrote that he used to work for Boeing but quit because of their “DEI indoctrination.”

“I resigned from Boeing because of their DEI indoctrination,” he wrote. “How about you stop pushing DEI and pronouns?!? You guys act like you build vacuum cleaners. Live and die on SPI/CPI [schedule performance index/cost performance index].”

“Building/Maintaining aircraft is a human activity. Treat your mechanics and engineers with the respect they have earned with their skill sets. Stop focusing on indoctrination. The suits need to be fired! #Boeingkills #Boeing #DEIkills If it’s Boeing, I’m not going!” he added.

Look:

Vivek Saxena

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