United Airlines B737-800 lands in Oregon with missing fuselage panel

United Airlines N68822 Boeing 737
Santiparp Wattanaporn / Shutterstock.com

A United Airlines aircraft landed in Oregon on March 15, 2024, with a fuselage panel missing. 

During a post-flight inspection at Rogue Valley International Airport, Oregon (MFR), it was discovered that the aircraft, a during a Boeing 737-800 which had just operated United’s flight 433 from San Francisco (SFO) with 139 passengers and 6 crew onboard, had an underside panel missing. 

It is not clear what caused the loss of the panel, which was located on the underside of the aircraft next to the landing gear. The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an investigation. 

This is the latest in a string of recent incidents that have affected United Airlines’ aircraft in a matter of days.  

On March 8, 2024, a United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft slid off the runway upon landing at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). A day earlier, a Boeing 777-200 of the same airline, bound for Kansai International Airport (KXI) lost a tire upon taking-off from Los Angeles (LAX). Earlier in the same week, a United Boeing 737-900 had to perform an emergency landing after one of its engines caught fire shortly after departing George Bush Intercontinental Airport. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also investigating an incident that took place in February 2024 when a United Airlines’ pilot reported an unresponsive rudder on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. 

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