Alaska Airlines Plane's Missing Door Blows Off Midflight, Found In Backyard

By Jason Hall

January 8, 2024

Alaska Airlines Grounds Its Fleet Of 65 Boeing 737 Max 9's, After Fuselage Section Blew Out In Flight
Photo: Getty Images

The door plug that blew off during an Alaska Airlines flight over the weekend was found by a teacher identified only as 'Bob' in his Portland backyard, federal officials confirmed Sunday (January 7) via the New York Post.

“We are really pleased that Bob found this,” said National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homendy during a media briefing. “We’re gonna go pick that up and make sure that we begin analyzing it."

The officials announced the discovery two days after the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 was forced to make an emergency landing and was spotted with a large hole on its left side. The plane was reported to have had 170 people on board at the time of the incident.

No additional details regarding the plug, including whether it was known to still be in tact, were revealed as of Sunday. Several other items from the plane were found by Oregon residents including two cell phones that were sucked through the gaping hole before falling 16,000 feet to the ground, one of which was surprisingly found completely intact.

The flight took off at Portland Airport and was scheduled to land in Ontario, California, before being diverted back due to the door plug situation.

“It was described as chaos, very loud between the air and everything going on around them and it was very violent when the rapid decompression and the door was expelled out of the plane,” Homendy said via the New York Times.

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