Dreamliner turning into glitch nightmare

2013-01-10 08:39
Japan - A brake problem has forced an All Nippon Airways flight to be cancelled in Japan - the third glitch in as many days involving a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

YahooNews reports the flight was scheduled to fly from the Yamaguchi prefecture in western Japan to Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

But the domestic flight was grounded by Japan's ANA because brake parts to the rear left undercarriage needed replacing, a spokesman at Yamaguchi Ube Airport said.

An ANA spokesperson said: "In the cockpit, an error message related to its brake system was displayed. The exact nature and the cause of the error message is not clear yet." All 98 passengers on board were switched to another flight for Tokyo.

On Tuesday, a Japan Airlines jet was grounded at Boston Logan International Airport in the US following a fuel leak, a day after another plane of the same type suffered a fire.

About 40 gallons (150 litres) of fuel spilled from the jet that was supposed to be bound for Tokyo from Boston.

Massachusetts Port Authority spokesperson Richard Walsh said the plane had 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board.

The plane was evaluated and departed the same afternoon. JAL said the crew had reported a "mechanical issue."

On Monday, a fire broke out in a battery pack in the belly of a different Boeing 787 operated by JAL at the same airport.

Just minutes after all 173 passengers and 11 crew disembarked, the aircraft's cabin and cockpit filled with smoke.

It had just landed at Boston, following a non-stop flight from Tokyo.

The blaze, which was extinguished within 20 minutes, is being investigated by US aviation officials.

All three episodes have heightened safety concerns about the aircraft, which has been beset with problems.

Electrical faults have affected flights and delayed deliveries of the new jet to operators.

US manufacturer Boeing has sold 848 of the planes.

The latest episode comes after the Federal Aviation Administration - the US aviation watchdog - had already launched a probe and discovered fuel line assembly errors.

It said that the faults could result in fire risk from leaks dripping on hot engine parts or causing the aircraft to run out of fuel.

Japan Airlines said it had no plans to change placed orders of 38 Boeing 787 Dreamliners following the two incidents.

The company has ordered 45 in total, seven of which it is already operating. A spokesman said six were currently in use, the other at Boston Logan International Airport.

All Nippon Airways, which has placed orders for 66 Dreamliner aircraft, including 17 already in use, also said it had no plans to change its orders.

Read more on:    flights  |  travel international  |  aviation

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