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Panel discovered missing on United-operated Boeing 737 after landing

United flight 433 landed safely at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport in Oregon. The airline said it would investigate how the panel came off.
Panel discovered missing on United-operated Boeing 737 after landing
Posted at 8:03 PM, Mar 15, 2024

United Airlines confirmed to Scripps News that United flight 433, a Boeing 737-800 jet, was discovered to have a large panel missing from the site of the plane after it landed at Rogue Valley International/Medford Airport in Oregon. 

Airport staff and the airline signaled they were unaware how the large panel went missing. The panel protects critical mechanical parts of the plane. 

In a statement to Scripps News, United said that on Friday afternoon "After the aircraft was parked at the gate, it was discovered to be missing an external panel."

The airline said it would "conduct a thorough examination of the plane and perform all the needed repairs before it returns to service." United said it would "also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred."

The airport director at Medford's International airport told Scripps News that the plane "landed normally without incident," and said an inspection by ground crew after the jet landed "found a panel missing underneath the aircraft."

SEE MORE: Repair footage goes missing amid Boeing, Alaska Airlines blowout probe

Airport staff confirmed that all passengers deplaned safely and operations were only briefly interrupted for a runway inspection to be sure no parts had fallen onto the runway. 

Boeing has received a plethora of negative headlines in recent weeks as the company faces a reported U.S. Department of Justice investigation after a large panel blew out of the side of a Boeing jet in early January forcing an emergency landing of that Alaska Airlines-operated Boeing 737 jet at Portland's airport. 

Footage that investigators were searching for to proceed with their case was found to be missing. The footage would have shown repairs on the door at a Washington Boeing facility, the probe said. 

Then in March, the family of the Boeing whistleblower who was found dead blamed the company for his death. Sixty-two-year-old John Barnett of Louisiana died on March 9 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Charleston County Coroner's Office told Scripps News. But his family says a "hostile work environment" is to blame for his death, according to reports

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