Boeing 787 Dreamliner incidents raise safety concerns

Boeing 787 Dreamliner incidents raise safety concerns

Post ID: 37426 | POSTED ON: Jan 09, 2013

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS  — A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines suffered a fuel leakage Tuesday while preparing to take off from an airport in Massachusetts, making it the second mishap involving a Dreamliner aircraft in as many days, officials said.

The Dreamliner, operated by Japan Airlines and carrying 181 passengers on board, was about to take off from Boston's Logan International Airport when a pilot from another aircraft advised air traffic control of a leakage from a wing. The control tower then informed the aircraft's crew.

Boeing has not made any statements regarding Tuesday's incident, but it is believed around 40 gallons (151 liters) of fuel spilled from the aircraft, causing the flight to be delayed for nearly four hours. It has raised further safety concerns about the Dreamliner aircraft as it came less than 24 hours after another mishap.

On Monday, a fire broke out in the electronics and equipment bay of another Dreamliner aircraft which was also at Boston's Logan Airport and being operated by Japan Airlines. The fire was extinguished after about 40 minutes, and while no passengers or crew members were on board, one firefighter received minor injuries.

In a preliminary update, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Tuesday that its investigator on scene found that the aircraft's auxiliary power unit battery had severe fire damage. Thermal damage to the surrounding structure and components was confined to the area immediately near the APU battery rack in the aft electronics bay.

Investigators said Japan Airlines representatives have indicated that airplane maintenance and cleaning personnel were on the airplane with the APU in operation just prior to the detection of smoke in the cabin. Boeing said it is working closely with all parties concerned to find the cause of the fire.

"As is standard practice within the industry, it would be premature to discuss additional details at this stage as the investigation is ongoing," the aircraft manufacturer said in a statement on Tuesday. "However, nothing that we've seen in this case indicates a relationship to any previous 787 power system events, which involved power panel faults elsewhere in the aft electrical equipment bay."

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