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Boeing 737 Max 9 review gets independent advisor


Alaska Airlines N704AL is seen grounded in a hangar at Portland International Airport on January 9, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. NTSB investigators are continuing their inspection on the Alaska Airlines N704AL Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft following a midair fuselage blowout on Friday, January 5. 

Mathieu Lewis-rolland | Getty Images

Boeing on Tuesday appointed retired Admiral Kirkland Donald to serve as a special advisor while the company grapples with the fallout from an Alaska Airlines midflight accident on a 737 Max 9 and the subsequent grounding of that plane type.

Donald will lead a review of Boeing’s quality management system and provide a report to CEO Dave Calhoun as well as the aerospace safety committee of Boeing’s board of directors, the company said in a press release.

“I’ve asked him to provide an independent and comprehensive assessment with actionable recommendations for strengthening our oversight of quality in our own factories and throughout our extended commercial airplane production system. He and his team will have any and all support he needs from me and from across The Boeing Company,” Calhoun said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded Boeing 737 Max 9s earlier this month so the jets could undergo inspections after a door plug blew off Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on January 5.

The FAA said in a statement Friday that the grounding would remain in place while it reviews data from inspections of the aircraft.

Donald served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear trained submarine officer for almost 40 years before retiring in 2013. His last assignment was as the director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

Shares of Boeing fell about 8% Tuesday and are down almost 20% since the groundings began.

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