A brand new Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 had a piece of its tail fall off enroute from Seattle to Chicago on Monday. The plane landed at 6:13 p.m. local time and remained on the ground overnight. It had only been in revenue service for four days, made sixteen passenger flights, and had been registered to Alaska for just a week.
@beam5192 on Instagram shares that the details with a photo:
Brand new N990AK on only her 4th day of revenue service had a part of its tail come off, I’m assuming inflight. Been on the ground over 18 hours and still left on the gate, causing Alaska passengers to sit hours after landing with no gate to park at.
Credit: @beam5192 on Instagram
They also reported that the plane finally taxied to gate G2 at Chicago O’Hare (and throws some shade at JetBlue in the process):
Things happen to planes, even to new planes, and this one will be fine! But when 737 MAX deliveries have been slowed due to a quality issue with parts on MAX jets this year (albeit the MAX 8 variant) this isn’t what you want to see.
Update: Alaska Airlines adds,
The aircraft went out of service Monday night at Chicago O’Hare for a system fault. Most likely the aircraft was parked at a remote pad waiting for the part to arrive. It was then taxied by maintenance to the gate for repairs. In order to troubleshoot and fix the issue, the maintenance team removed a panel on the side of the vertical stabilizer. The aircraft fault was corrected and the aircraft was returned to service Tuesday afternoon.