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Boeing 737 loses external panel mid-flight

Boeing 737 loses external panel mid-flight
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A Boeing 737-800 lost an external panel mid-flight Friday — the latest issue involving one of the manufacturer’s planes that was only discovered when it landed at an Oregon airport, according to officials.

United Airlines Flight 433 departed from San Francisco around 10:20 a.m. local time and landed safely at its intended destination, Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, about 70 minutes later, according to airport officials and flight data.

The missing panel on Boeing 737-800 was discovered after landing.

Once the plane reached the gate, an external panel was found to be missing, halting operations at the airport while a runway safety check was conducted, airport director Amber Judd told The Post in a statement.

There was no indication of a problem and no emergency was ever declared during the flight, which had 139 passengers and 6 crew members on board, according to United.

Airport staff searched for the missing panel on the airport premises, but were unable to locate it.

“After finding no debris on the airfield, normal operations at MFR resumed a few minutes later,” she said.

United Airlines said it plans a “thorough examination” of the 25-year-old plane and will “perform all the needed repairs before it returns to service.”

“We’ll also conduct an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred,” the airline added.

The Federal Aviation Administration will also investigate the incident, a spokesperson said.

Boeing declined to comment when contacted by The Post.

United Airlines plane

No issues were reported during the United Airlines Flight.

The frightening mishap marks at least the seventh incident involving a Boeing plane in the last two weeks.

On Thursday, an American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday night over a “possible mechanical issue,” on a Boeing aircraft.

On Monday, a United Airlines Flight heading from Sydney to San Francisco, was forced to turn around mid-flight due to a fuel leak. The Boeing 777-300 plane, which was carrying 167 passengers and 16 crew member, landed safely back in Sydney.

Hours earlier, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner en route Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand experienced a technical issue that resulted in injuries to 50 passengers.

A United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Japan diverted to Los Angeles International Airport on March 7 after a tire on the Boeing 777-20 fell off after takeoff, damaging cars in a parking lot on the ground.

Boeing told its employees in a memo Tuesday that the company is implementing weekly compliance checks for every 737 work area and additional equipment audits to reduce quality problems.




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