Federal investigators located the door plug that blew out from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which made an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon, Friday evening.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, traveling from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, faced severe depressurization, causing the ejection of a large window section and an unoccupied seat.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found the ejected door plug in a wooded backyard.

“NTSB has recovered the door plug from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX. NTSB investigators are currently examining the door plug and will send it to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC for further examination,” NTSB said.

A man named “Bob” found the door plug.

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“I’m excited to announce that we found the door plug,” NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said.

“Bob is a school teacher in Portland, so thank you very much Bob, bless you,” Homendy commented.

KOIN 6 reports:

At least two cell phones from the plane have also been recovered after federal investigators announced on Saturday evening the search radius was in the Cedar Hills area between Barnes Road and 217.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy told the public on Sunday evening the aircraft’s auto pressurization warning system went off three times within the last month, including one day before the mid-air incident on Flight 1282, and that Alaska Airlines had decided to restrict the aircraft from long journeys over water in the event the warning light reappeared so the aircraft could quickly return to an airport.

Federal Aviation Administration officials say the door plug is key to the investigation into what went wrong. John Nance, a broadcast aviation analyst and veteran airline captain, told KOIN 6 News it will be important for investigators to uncover details about the installation process.

“One of the questions we’re gonna have here is if it’s found the door was not properly installed, the plug, then the question is exactly when did that happen and why wasn’t it caught and at what stage?” Nance said.

Flight 1282 took off from Portland International Airport just before 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, but while it was at 16,000 feet during its initial takeoff, the door plug blew out of the aircraft. The aircraft managed to safely make its emergency return landing to PDX around 5:30 p.m.

However, investigators must move forward without audio from the flight’s black box cockpit voice recorder.

NTSB said there’s nothing on it.

From the New York Post:

National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said at a press conference the in-flight audio of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which was carrying 171 passengers, had been lost amid the chaos of making an emergency landing at Portland International Airport in Oregon 35 minutes into its journey.

“The cockpit voice recorder was completely overwritten. There was nothing on the cockpit voice recorder,” Homendy told reporters.

Current Federal Aviation Authority regulations only require black boxes to record two hours of flight audio, including pilots’ voices, any incoming or outgoing radio transmissions or any engine sounds.

At the two-hour mark, any captured audio is automatically recorded over with the next two hours.

The Boeing 787 MAX 9 aircraft — which had been scheduled to fly between Portland and Ontario, Calif. — had to return to the airport after a plug covering an unused exit door went flying off mid-flight, leaving a gaping hole to the outside and prompting the emergency landing.

No one aboard the flight was injured and the 63-pound door plug was found by a Portland teacher in his backyard Sunday.

Once the craft landed and was safely evacuated, maintenance crews went to retrieve the black box but found the audio was overwritten because the circuit breaker had not been cut.

“We have nothing,” Homendy said.

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