Aviation Expert John Nance Offers His Theories on the Hole in the Plane

Photo: Getty Images North America

The NTSB is conducting its investigation into what caused a door plug to suddenly blow off an airplane in mid-flight on Friday. Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 from Portland, Oregon to Ontario, California was at a height of 16,000 feet when the door plug popped, blowing a hole in the plane’s fuselage and de-pressurizing the cabin. Luckily, the crew was able to return to Portland without any loss of life.

ABC World News aviation analyst John Nance- who used to be a pilot for Alaska Airlines- appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to discuss the investigation into the incident, starting with a sobering thought about the condition of the 737 MAX 9 plane itself.

“Well, I don’t think it was in the design,” Nance told Berman and Riedel. “This sounds to me like, most likely, it was either material failure of the door itself or the door wasn’t put on properly, and the thing is that’s scary as heck, guys, is if that door was hanging by a thread for the last three months, there are a lot of people that have been sitting in 26 A and B, and they would not have been with us.”

The door plug in question is a cover for a door opening that, Nance says, would not have been needed on this plane, considering how the plane in question was used. “They engineer those exits in, but they don’t put any of the pertinences in. If it’s an airline like Alaska, it does not need the high-density seating, it’s not cramming people together. And so, in Alaska’s case, what they do is, they order it with the plug in place. The plug fits to where you can see it from outside… but from the inside, they just cover it over as necessary with the side panels, and you can’t see it. You have no idea it’s there.”

As to one key question, Nance says it’s too early to say if the incident causes a nosedive of MAX 9 manufacturer Boeing’s future. “We won’t know until we know exactly what happened here. If it’s sloppiness or some failure on the production line, it’s gonna be a reputational hit, and to what extent monetarily, I doubt terribly seriously because, thank God, we didn’t lose anybody.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content