Plane Drops Nearly 27,000 ft in 15 Minutes, Leaving 17 Injured

Plane Drops Nearly 27,000 ft in 15 Minutes, Leaving 17 Injured

( – Aerospace company Boeing has remained the subject of much scrutiny over the past few years. Several incidents with its planes prompted whistleblowers to come forward, alleging the company engaged in unsafe manufacturing practices that put passenger safety at risk. Another incident has propelled the company back into the spotlight.

On Saturday, June 22, a Korean Air flight from Incheon International Airport to Taichung International Airport suffered a malfunction and dropped almost 27,000 feet in just 15 minutes. The Boeing 737 Max 8 plane suffered a cabin pressure failure. Authorities treated more than a dozen people for injuries, including hyperventilation and eardrum pain, following the incident. Fortunately, none sustained severe injuries.

Video footage of the incident showed passengers in distress, with screaming and crying filling the background as they grabbed for oxygen masks. Passengers eventually made it to their destination the next day, and the airline covered all of their expenses, including food and lodging.

Korean Air released a statement apologizing to those affected by the incident. It noted it was “fully cooperating with all relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances” leading to the failure.

Boeing had already come under intense scrutiny after its 737 MAX jets suffered two fatal accidents, one each in 2018 and 2019. In those cases, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) experienced sensor failures and pointed the nose down.

In both instances, the pilots couldn’t regain control of the aircraft. As a result, the US Justice Department (DOJ) reached a deferred prosecution agreement with Boeing, where it would pay a substantial fine, submit regular reports, and overhaul compliance practices to avoid prosecution.

However, prosecutors have since determined that the aerospace company reneged on the deal and submitted a recommendation that the DOJ aggressively pursue charges against it. The agency has until July 7 to decide whether to submit charges against the company.

It’s unclear what charges prosecutors recommended, but families of crash victims supported the prosecution, advocating for a $25 billion fine and court-monitored compliance of any future agreements.

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