United Airlines flight missing external sign lands safely

A United Airlines flight that took off Friday morning from San Francisco International Airport landed in Oregon in the afternoon without an external sign, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The sign was reported missing after the plane, a Boeing 737-800, landed safely at its intended destination at Rogue Valley Medford International Airport in Oregon and parked at a gate boarding, United Airlines said in a statement. It is not clear when or how the sign disappeared.

According to the airline, there is no indication that the plane suffered any damage during the flight and the plane did not declare an emergency while en route to Medford Airport.

“We will conduct a thorough examination of the aircraft and make any necessary repairs before returning it to service,” the airline said. “We will also carry out an investigation to better understand how this damage occurred.”

The plane was carrying 139 passengers and a crew of six, according to United Airlines. No injuries were reported.

The plane has been in service for more than 25 years and belongs to a previous generation of 737 planes, according to, a website that tracks aircraft information.

Boeing referred questions about the flight to United Airlines. The FAA said it plans to investigate the episode.

The discovery of the missing panel Friday comes as Boeing has faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks after a a door-sized section blew up a Boeing 737 Max 9 Alaska Airlines flight in January just minutes after taking off from Portland, Oregon. There were no major injuries during the flight, but the frightening episode, which was captured on video, prompted government officials to look into quality control at Boeing.

After the January flight, the FAA launched a six-week audit of Boeing, which found “multiple instances” in which the aircraft maker failed to follow quality control requirements.

Since then, many problems have arisen with flights on Boeing planes.

On March 8, a United Airlines flight that landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston rolled into the grass as the plane, a Boeing 737, exited onto the taxiway, according to the FAA.

In February, an American Airlines Boeing 777, bound for Madrid, diverted to Boston's Logan International Airport with a cracked windshield shortly after taking off from New York's Kennedy International Airport.

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