Feds launch criminal probe of Boeing

The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into Boeing, report the Associated Press and the New York Times. The investigation concerns the side falling off an Alaska Airlines jet after it took off on a Jan. 5 flight, and follows reports that Boeing has failed to provide paperwork demanded by those investigating that incident.

The airline said it was cooperating with the inquiry. "In an event like this, it's normal for the D.O.J. to be conducting an investigation," Alaska Airlines said in a statement. "We are fully cooperating and do not believe we are a target of the investigation." Boeing had no comment.

On Jan. 5, a panel on a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet operated by Alaska Airlines blew out in midair, exposing passengers to the outside air thousands of feet above ground. There were no serious injuries resulting from that incident, but it could have been catastrophic had the panel blown out minutes later, at a higher altitude.

Just today, 50 passengers were hurt when a Boeing 787 suffered a "technical event" on a Latam flight from Australia to New Zealand. And of course there were the hundreds killed in two 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019. Happy trails!

Previously: Airline pilots have been complaining for months about Boeing's deathliner