Boeing has suggested it has no documentation related to its removal and re-installation of the 737 Max 9 door plug that failed during a 5 January flight, while insisting it is fully cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation.

“With respect to documentation, if the door plug removal was undocumented there would be no documentation to share,” Boeing said on 6 March. “Since the first moments following the Alaska Airlines flight 1282 accident, we have worked proactively and transparently to fully support the NTSB’s investigation.”

Those comments came the day NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy told lawmakers Boeing had not provided her team with basic information related to the investigation.

Alaska 737 Max 9 missing door plug

Source: NTSB

The hole in an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9’s fuselage after a door plug blew out during a 5 January 2024 flight

Homendy said, now two months following the incident, Boeing had yet to provide investigators with the names of 25 employees who oversee 737 doors at Boeing’s Renton assembly site. She also says, despite requests, Boeing had not produced documents related to the door’s removal, or security camera footage. Homendy calls Boeing’s lack of responses “absurd”.

Following that testimony, Boeing issued a statement saying it has given the NTSB the names it sought.

“We have now provided the full list of individuals on the 737 door team, in response to a recent request,” the company says. “Early in the investigation, we provided the NTSB with names of Boeing employees, including door specialists, who we believed would have relevant information.”

Also on 6 March, Senate transportation committee chair Maria Cantwell urged Boeing chief executive David Calhoun to quickly give the NTSB information it seeks.

“Please provide this investigative information to the NTSB within the next 48 hours so they can conduct their investigation. If complying with this demand is not possible for some reason, please provide me with a thorough explanation of why not within the same time period,” Cantwell writes.

Boeing, under immense pressure following the 5 January event, insists it has been supporting the NTSB’s inquiry.

“We will continue to cooperate fully and transparently with the NTSB’s investigation,” the company says. “Our team works tirelessly with the NTSB team to respond comprehensively to all NTSB information requests.”

In a preliminary accident report issued on 6 February, the NTSB said bolts intended to secure the door plug were missing when the plug failed during the 5 January flight.

The agency has photographs showing that, prior to the jet’s delivery to Alaska Airlines, workers at Boeing’s Renton site had removed the door plug – raising the possibility that they never locked it down with the bolts.

Homendy says Boeing has not yet verified with her team the dates on which the plug work was done.

The NTSB’s investigation is ongoing.