Panel torn from Boeing 737-800, flown by United Airlines from San Francisco to Medford, Ore.

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Panel torn from United Airlines jet on March 15. Photo credit: Social media.

An external panel was found to be missing from a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 jet after it landed in southern Oregon on Friday morning.

United Flight 433 left San Francisco at 10:20 a.m., and landed at Rogue Valley International Medford Airport a few minutes before noon. After it was parked at the gate, the panel was discovered to be missing during a post-flight inspection and believed to have fallen off en route. It has not been found. The panel exposed mechanical components and was located near where one of the wings meets the body of the aircraft, which is reportedly about 25 years old.

The missing panel is one of a string of concerns about Boeing jets. In early January, a Boeing 737-9 MAX lost a door plug while climbing out of Portland International Airport in Oregon. That incident exposed passengers to life-threatening conditions, but the plane was safely landed back at PDX.

Last week, a tire fell off a United Airlines Boeing 777 that was leaving San Francisco International Airport en route to Osaka, Japan. The tire did major damage to cars in the parking lot nearby.

Also last week, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 373 arrived in Portland from Cabos San Lucas, Mexico with its cargo door ajar.

34 COMMENTS

  1. United Airlines get jealous of all the media and comedian attention Alaska Air received, so is this to top Alaska Air’s blown out panel?
    Battle of the Boeings.

  2. What are the odds of this many Boeing plane issues over a period of just a few months. It appears like it could be some sort of international industrial sabotage. Or could it stem from Boeing implementing DEI policies and losing the highly-skilled workforce.

  3. This one has to be mainly on United Airlines. There are over 11,000 737s in service and it is used everywhere by everyone. Stuff happens but hopefully not too much stuff. The circumstances of these events is almost always different. When there are common factors, that is where concern should arise. Personally, I am more concerned about “woke” airlines putting nonsense stuff before safety and proficiency.

  4. Suzanne, I heard that there six separate instances of issues with Boeing airplanes in just this last week. I feel like we are being forced to quit flying if this stuff keeps up! I know that I sure do not feel like flying between worrying about pilots or flight crews having medical issues to things getting ripped off of the planes or landing gear not working right or falling apart!

    • Ginny, flying on scheduled air carriers is still by far the safest way to travel. And BTW, asking Suzanne for help is pointless – she’s powerless to fix it.

  5. “Come Fly the Crumbling Skies”

    I think the lesson here is not to fly into or out of Ore-uh-gahn. Which few non-radical-leftist-extremists would want to do, anyway.

    • Well last time I compared the two, Wasilla’s level of trailer trash far exceeded that of any Oregon city I’ve visited. What’s your zip code, Jefferson??

      • And Ore-uh-gahn’s level of arrogant, smug, out-of-touch, divorced-from-reality elitists and far-left extremists far exceeds that of anywhere in Alaska (except for the Anchorage assembly chambers). Your point?

      • Hans, Kindly consider the following; most residents of Wasilla do not dwell in Trailers, the place is one giant subdivision of T-111 sided stick built homes without a Trailer Court in sight. This doubtless explains the complete absence of Tornado’s in the Mat-Su Valley. Given the above, can we dispense with the trailer trash statement? However if you are referring to the legion of Toy Hauling Trailers and R.V’s, along with the ubiquitous 4-Wheeler and Snow machine carriers, well then you might be on to something.

  6. Although airline travel is still the safest form of travel in the world, the nearly weekly occurrences fail to pacify passenger concerns, and the NTSB and FAA certainly have their hands full trying to mitigate these safety concerns with transparency. With all the money generated by the airlines we would hope that maintenance and aircraft readiness would constitute the highest priority in the operational equation of passenger safety in daily flights. But alas, social issues seem to be Alaska Airlines higher priority according to their website. In the world of DEI, death is the great equalizer and does not discriminate when operational safety no longer rules.

    • It’s very difficult for an airline to make money, they
      operate on a very thin profit margin. Many airlines
      have gone out of business.

  7. I was listening to an out of state podcast and heard Boing (deliberate) is eaten alive with maintenance concerns. Not enough money to spend on doing it correctly.

  8. Don’t worry about the planes falling apart, folks, keep your eye on the most important thing, which is that Boeing’s DEI program is going swimmingly…

  9. My 1968 Chevy is starting to fall apart from years of abuse and neglect. Guess I should sue General Motors. They sure built a lousy truck. Not to mention the left wheel falling off after a recent tire change at the budget garage, and the passenger door falling off because the duck tape failed.

  10. This isn’t a Boeing issue. It’s a United issue. Panels fall off more regularly that you’d think. It’s almost aways because of poor MX. Looking at the grime on that aircraft further bolsters the opinion that, although the required maintenance is being performed, no one is going the extra mile to do extra- or double-checks, wipe down grime or even give a hoot. My guess is that proud union labor contributes to this outcome.

    • Absolutely correct. I also noticed the scab repairs in the surrounding areas. It is hard to inspect surfaces that are so filthy, I have seen many cargo planes that looked better. Wonder how many licensed aircraft mechanics these airlines actually employ. One in five? Gotta save money somewhere.

  11. I smell a rat. Boeing builds great aircraft. It is amazing we can hurl millions of people threw the air at 485 kts day after day with hardly a fatality. Yet on our wonderful road system we have mass fatalities every day and no one thinks anything of it but the families directly affected. 133 people a day killed on our road systems. My opinion is we are in a slump in this country where we have more people that don’t give a damn doing critical jobs. Lazy , complacent, & stupid. What more can you say. I guess that same sentiment transmits straight to Washington D.c. world war 3 May wake a few people up. The ones that don’t wake up we can use for sand bags.

  12. While I would agree that Boeing has had and may still have problems wih the Max. I would like to point the latest issue with a United airlines aircraft As the article pointed out this aircraft is 25 years old. This panel is removable for maintenance. This is most probally a maintenance issue and also a age and fatigue problem.

  13. Well, everyone seems to be pretty critical and negative about these recent events. HOWEVER(!), maybe the real focus should be the resiliency of these aircraft. Where there’s doors flying off, panels falling off, wheels falling off … At least the aircraft continues to fly and land safely!

  14. A lot of the services required by airlines are being farmed out to contractors. Things like baggage, food, and maintenance. We have unskilled labor performing these duties and its starting to show.

  15. Boeing should have gone union years ago, then they would have to find another reason to blame on this negligence. Like bad maintenance and management. And the controlling agencies in bed with the airlines. No reporting on this possibility. It will continue.

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