Advertisement

The Nation

A Boeing 747 cargo door suspected of popping open during a United Airlines flight and hurling nine passengers to their deaths had a recent history of problems, investigators say. The forward cargo door on the 18-year-old 747 that ripped open at 22,000 feet Friday after leaving Honolulu for Auckland, New Zealand, had electrical problems more than once in December and had to be closed manually, Lee V. Dickinson, investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news briefing in Honolulu. A seal on the same door was repaired in January, he said. United spokesman Rob Doughty said the electrical problems are not considered serious and were on a list of deferred items that do not affect the airworthiness of the plane.


Advertisement