NEWS: Southwest Airlines Plane Under Investigation After ‘Dutch Roll’ Incident

The Boeing Company has come under a lot of fire recently.

Southwest Airlines

Most recently, Boeing’s 737 Max 9 fell under scrutiny after an Alaskan Airline flight on one of those planes had a midair pressure problem that passengers reported blew out part of the plane’s fuselage. As a result, 737 Max 9 planes were grounded as the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) conducted an investigation into the incident. The investigation turned up a faulty doorplug. Now, another Boeing-made airplane owned by Southwest Airlines is being investigated after doing what is known as a “Dutch roll.”

According to The Associated Press, a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane owned by Southwest Airlines had an unusual rolling motion known as a Dutch roll midflight on May 25th on a flight from Phoenix Arizona to Oakland, California. A Dutch roll is a combination of a twisting motion when a plane rocks from one wing to the other (the name comes from how it mimics the movement of a Dutch ice skater).


As a result, the FAA is investigating by working with Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board. The plane’s pilots, who are trained on how to handle a Dutch roll, landed the plane safely in Oakland. No injuries were reported among the 175 passengers and five flight crew members.


Boeing’s 737 Max planes have had issues for quite some while. According to CNBC, about five years ago, two 737 Max 8 planes crashed. Then there was the recent issue with the previously-mentioned Alaskan Airlines flight, where the FAA investigation discovered that the door panel that flew off was missing four key bolts — that incident also launched a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice.

©Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

As far as the Dutch roll incident goes, though, USA Today reports that Dutch rolls are fairly rare for commercial flights and that the chances of it happening are generally lessened by the design of the aircraft.

Should these incidents be a cause for concern? Well, the good news is that flying is still one of the safest methods of transportation. According to NPR, the risk of boarding a fatal flight anywhere in the world is 1 in 13.4 million. Not only are planes built with redundancies in mind to remain safe even if something goes wrong, but pilots and flight crew are well-trained on what to do when problems arise.

We’ll keep an eye out for more details on the FAA’s investigation, so check back with AllEars again soon for more.

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