Korean Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 Depressurization Incident, 13 Injured

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Korean Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 Depressurization Incident, 13 Injured

#1 Post by PHXPhlyer » Mon Jun 24, 2024 10:55 pm

Korean Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 Descends 21,000 Feet With 13 Injured
While no official word has come from Korean Air, Boeing or the regulator, this is another disturbing issue surrounding a 737 MAX 8.


Boeing CEO Calhoun's turbulent week continued as Korean Air 737 MAX 8 experienced scare. Luckily, passengers treated for minor injuries.
Korean Air flight KE189 faced pressurization system fault, descending rapidly before safe landing in Seoul. Passengers praised crew's response.
Korean Air apologizes for incident, investigates cause. Replacement aircraft took passengers to Taichung safely. Stay tuned for updates on SimpleFlying.com.
After watching Boeing's CEO Dave Calhoun being grilled by hostile Senators in the US last week, it would be logical to think he went home for a quiet weekend to recover. His weekend might have ended early when a Korean Air 737 MAX 8 experienced a depressurization system incident on Saturday that sent 13 passengers to hospital, although thankfully, none were seriously injured.

Another 737 MAX incident
According to Taiwan's Taipei Times, Korean Air flight KE189, which was flying from Seoul to Taichung on Saturday, June 22, experienced a fault warning in the pressurization system. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft was above Jeju Island when the pilots detected an issue with the system about 50 minutes into the flight.

Tracking data from Flightradar24 shows that the Korean Air jet descended from around 30,000 feet to 9,000 feet within 15 minutes before returning and landing safely at Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) at 19:38. The 2019 Boeing 737 MAX 8, registration HL8352 and MSN 63440 departed Seoul Incheon International at 17:09 and headed for Taichung International Airport (RMQ), a flight of around 2:20 hours. The tracking data shows no further flights for that aircraft since then.

The flight was carrying 125 passengers, and the sudden change in cabin pressure caused health problems that needed treatment when the aircraft returned to Seoul. According to a report from South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, at least two passengers suffered nosebleeds, and 15 reported ear pain and hyperventilation.

A very scary ride
Of those, 13 were transported to local hospitals, but none of their conditions were deemed to be severe or life-threatening. While the injuries were not life-threatening, there is no doubt it was a terrifying experience for the passengers, particularly coming so soon after the Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 turbulence incident on May 20 this year that led to so many serious injuries.

Taiwan News reported that a Taiwanese passenger said the aircraft suddenly descended during the meal service, with the oxygen masks being deployed. The passengers praised the cabin crew for quickly clearing the tray tables and assisting passengers with their oxygen masks.

The passenger said the sensation was similar to experiencing five times the gravity of a rollercoaster ride and caused intense turbulence inside the aircraft. The sudden descent left her with severe pain in her ears and head, as well as dizziness, and she said many children were crying in the cabin.

Korean Air issued an apology regarding the incident and said it is investigating the specifics of what happened to ensure any necessary maintenance is undertaken. The passengers were accommodated overnight, and a replacement aircraft, another Boeing 737 MAX 8 registration HL8351, departed Seoul at 10:58 on Sunday, with the relieved passengers arriving in Taichung at 12:16.

At the time of writing, there is nothing about the incident on either the Korean Air or Boeing websites, which is surprising given the sensitive nature of the incident and the negative publicity swirling around the 737 MAX. If anything of note comes from any official source, it will be on the SimpleFlying.com website, so keep your eyes peeled for that.


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