NTSB arrives in Portland to investigate Alaska Airlines flight 1282, passengers scramble to re-book travel

The National Transportation Safety Board is at Portland International Airport and investigating after a depressurization event.

The chair said it was a plug, or the side of the plane that looks like a door from the outside, that came off the flight that was traveling from PDX to Ontario, California Friday evening.

Jennifer Homendy said the NTSB arrived at PDX in the late afternoon on Saturday, and her team is preparing for a full day of investigating on Sunday.

“We are not aware of any serious injuries, we are aware of reports of minor injuries. With that said, I imagine this was a pretty terrifying event. We don’t often talk about psychological injury, but I’m sure that occurred here,” said the chair.

Homendy described what the plane looked like after the incident.

“On 26A and 25A, the headrests are gone. On 26A part of the seat, the back of the seat is gone. There are some clothing items in the area,” she said.

KATU asked the chair about the certification of the plane, as FAA records show the Boeing 737-9 MAX was certified in November.

“We’ll have to look at how it was certified. All we have right now is that it was delivered to Alaska on November 11th. That is information I can provide. Anything beyond that I don’t want to speculate. I want to see it in writing myself,” said Homendy.

WATCH | NTSB Press Conference:

Staff with Alaska Airlines tell us there were 174 guests and six crew members on board.

The NTSB said the plane reached an altitude of 16,000 feet before turning back to PDX.

This incident impacted flights across the airline. KATU spoke with a few passengers who managed re-bookings and long delays.

“We got here this morning, almost all the way up to the airport, and found out our flight had been canceled. Waited in line for probably an hour and a half to find out we could get to Honolulu tonight, but then to Kona tomorrow morning. So, we’re a day delayed on our vacation,” said Kristy Kraemer.

Other passengers said they didn’t receive notification until they arrived at the airport and were left waiting for hours, unable to check their bags at the time.

As far as where the plug landed, the NTSB said based on radar, they believe it came off around Highway 217 in the Cedar Hills neighborhood.

They’re asking anyone with information to reach out.

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