Emergency Landing in Denver for Boston to San Francisco Flight

Emergency Landing in Denver for Boston to San Francisco Flight
  • PublishedMay 23, 2024

On Tuesday, a United Airlines flight en route from Boston to San Francisco had to execute an emergency landing in Denver due to a suspected mechanical problem, marking another incident involving Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft. 

The plane landed without incident, and United swiftly arranged for the 177 passengers to transfer to another aircraft to complete their journey. Officials did not specify the exact cause of the emergency landing.

Flight Aware, an online flight tracking service, indicates that the flight departed from Boston at 6:34 a.m. and touched down in Denver at 11:28 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The continuation of the journey from Denver to San Francisco took off at 2:24 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an investigation into the incident. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 737 MAX 9, has been the subject of previous safety concerns, most notably the door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

The 737 MAX is the latest iteration of Boeing’s 737, a twin-engine, single-aisle aircraft that first entered service in the late 1960s and has undergone numerous updates. The 737 has been a reliable choice for U.S. domestic routes for decades.

However, the new 737 MAX jets were involved in fatal crashes in 2018 in Indonesia and 2019 in Ethiopia, resulting in the loss of 346 lives. In January 2021, Boeing agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department to avoid prosecution on a charge of fraud, which stemmed from allegations of misleading federal regulators during the plane’s approval process. Boeing attributed the misconduct to two lower-level employees.

Boeing has faced increased scrutiny since the incident in January involving an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX, where a door plug failure resulted in a large hole in the aircraft’s fuselage. This event has led to multiple investigations into Boeing’s manufacturing quality, with the FBI informing passengers that they might be considered victims of a crime.

Prosecutors are scheduled to meet on May 31 with families of those who perished in the two 737 MAX crashes. A similar meeting held last month left many family members feeling angry and disappointed.

Investigations into the crashes revealed that a flight-control system, which Boeing added to the MAX without informing pilots or airlines, was a contributing factor. Boeing had initially minimized the importance of this system and did not implement significant changes until after the second crash.

Following secret negotiations, the government agreed not to prosecute Boeing for defrauding the United States by misleading regulators about the flight system. The settlement comprised a $243.6 million fine, a $500 million victim compensation fund, and nearly $1.8 billion for airlines whose MAX jets were grounded for almost two years.

Since the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, Boeing has faced civil lawsuits, congressional investigations, and significant damage to its business.

Written By
Shane Mathew

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