FAA orders review of Boeing 787 Dreamliners following week of incidents
Sunday, January 13, 2013
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered a review Friday into the design and manufacture of the Boeing , following five incidents in five days involving the aircraft and two Japanese airlines.
On Monday, an electrical fire broke out aboard a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston's , when a battery pack which powers the , for when the plane is on the ground, caught fire. The fire was discovered by maintenance workers after passengers and crew disembarked following their flight from Tokyo's .
The next day, a separate Japan Airlines 787, also at Logan International Airport, heading to Tokyo, suffered a fuel leak that spilled around 40 gallons, which was spotted by the crew of the aircraft taxiing behind them. "That Japan Air may know it, but they’ve got fuel or something spilling out the outboard left wing. Quite a bit," said the pilot of aircraft behind them on local air traffic control frequencies.
Wednesday, in Japan, an787, the launch customer for the aircraft, cancelled a flight after a brake problem was reported.
Earlier Friday, two All Nippon Airways suffered separate incidents in Japan. An oil leak was noticed in the engine after one aircraft had landed in, coming from Tokyo's . Another flight, flying between Haneda Airport and said the pilot's side window in the cockpit suffered a crack.
The FAA in a statement said "In light of a series of recent events, the FAA will conduct a comprehensive review of the Boeing 787 critical systems, including the design, manufacture and assembly." Further adding, "The purpose of the review is to validate the work conducted during the certification process and further ensure that the aircraft meets the FAA’s high level of safety."
According to the statement, "The review will also examine how the electrical and mechanical systems interact with each other." The Boeing 787 relies more on electrical, as opposed to mechanical, systems than past aircraft from the manufacturer including having electronics operate hydraulic pumps and using electric brakes. Large portions of the plane's structure use lightweightinstead of more traditional metal airframe.
U.S. Transportation Secretarysaid, "The safety of the traveling public is our top priority [...] This review will help us look at the root causes and do everything we can to safeguard against similar events in the future."
"We are confident that the aircraft is safe. But we need to have a complete understanding of what is happening," said newly sworn-in FAA Administrator. "We are conducting the review to further ensure that the aircraft meets our high safety standards."
Boeing released a statement saying, "[The company] is confident in the design and performance of the 787. It is a safe and efficient airplane. The airplane has logged 50,000 hours of flight and there are more than 150 flights occurring daily."
- Press Release: "Press Release – FAA Will Review Boeing 787 Design and Production" — Federal Aviation Adminstration, January 11, 2013
- Jad Mouawad. "Regulators Will Review Boeing 787s for Safety" — , January 11, 2013
- Susanna Ray and Alan Levin. "Boeing 787 Power System Said Focus of Special FAA Review" — , January 11, 2013
- "Dreamliner plane review ordered by US regulators" — , January 11, 2013
- Mike Bello, Eric Moskowitz, Katie Johnston, John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane. "Fuel leaks out of Dreamliner headed to Tokyo; second problem in two days for Japan Airlines planes" — , January 8, 2013
- Eric Moskowitz, Glen Johnson, Katie Johnston, John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane. "Officials: Smoke filled the cabin of Dreamliner in Logan fire — after passengers had disembarked" — , January 7, 2013