Boeing security footage of work on jet with failed door plug is unavailable, NTSB says

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Boeing says it cannot find the documentation confirming the September repairs its employees conducted on the 737 Max 9 that had a door plug fly off during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, and claims security footage that might show the work being conducted was “overwritten,” the head of the National Transportation Safety Board revealed Wednesday.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy wrote in a letter to U.S. senators that the agency still does not know who performed the rivet work on the aircraft, which involved opening, reinstalling and closing the door plug that failed months later.

“Boeing has informed us that they are unable to find the records documenting this work,” Homendy wrote. “A verbal request was made by our investigators for security camera footage to help obtain this information; however, they were informed the footage was overwritten.”

The NTSB chief added, “The absence of those records will complicate the NTSB’s investigation moving forward.”

UNITED TELLS BOEING TO STOP MAKING THE MAX 10S THE AIRLINE ORDERED: REPORT

Homendy said the NTSB first asked Boeing for information pertaining to the repairs on Jan. 9, days after the door plug failure. Last week, Boeing handed over a list of employees that reported to the door crew manager at the time of the repairs, but did not identify which employees conducted the work.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun

“After NTSB received this list, I called Boeing Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun and asked for the names of the people who performed the work,” Homendy wrote. “He stated he was unable to provide that information and maintained that Boeing has no records of the work being performed.”

When reached by FOX Business for comment, a Boeing official said the company maintains video for a rolling 30-day basis, which they said is consistent with standard practice.

“We will continue supporting this investigation in the transparent and proactive fashion we have supported all regulatory inquiries into this accident,” the company said in an official statement. 

“We have worked hard to honor the rules about the release of investigative information in an environment of intense interest from our employees, customers, and other stakeholders, and we will continue our efforts to do so.” Boeing added.

ALASKA AIRLINES PLANE HAD DOOR PANEL BLOW OUT AHEAD OF SCHEDULED SAFETY CHECK: REPORT

Investigators found that four key bolts were missing from the door plug to the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft when it took off from Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 5. The panel blew off at 16,000 feet, which caused the cabin to depressurize before the flight returned safely to Portland International Airport.

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As a federal probe into Boeing’s safety measures continues, the New York Times reported on Tuesday that on the day before the blowout, some engineers and technicians at Alaska Airlines became concerned over a warning light that indicated an issue with the plane’s pressurization system.

Instead of removing the plane from service, the newspaper reported that the airline decided to continue flying the plane and scheduled a maintenance check for the night of Jan. 5. 

The airline told the Associated Press that the warning did not require or suggest that the aircraft needed to be taken out of service, and that its maintenance plan “was in line with all processes and procedures.”

FOX Business’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.

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