Dreamliner Safety And Design Review Ordered

Dreamliner Safety And Design Review Ordered

America's aviation watchdog has ordered a comprehensive review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after a spate of incidents involving the aircraft.

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said he is confident the Boeing 787 is safe, but he remains concerned about recent events, including a fire and a fuel leak earlier this week.

Michael Huerta, the FAA administrator, said there is nothing in the data the agency has seen to suggest the plane is not safe.

The watchdog announced it is undertaking a comprehensive review of the 787 to include "critical systems, including design, manufacture and assembly".

The manufacturer responded to fears over the plane and said: "Boeing is confident in the design and performance of the 787. It is a safe and efficient airplane that brings tremendous value to our customers and an improved flying experience to their passengers.

"The airplane has logged 50,000 hours of flight and there are more than 150 flights occurring daily."

The move by the US aviation authority was prompted after a fifth Dreamliner fault this week was reported on Friday morning.

Oil was discovered leaking from the left engine of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA).

An ANA spokeswoman said the leak was found after the domestic flight landed safely at Miyazaki airport in southern Japan.

It came on the same day another Japanese 787 suffered a cracked cockpit window while in flight on a domestic route.

ANA said crew noticed a spider web-like crack in a window in front of the pilot's seat about 70 minutes into Friday's flight, which was close to its destination.

The Dreamliner, the world's first carbon-composite airliner, which has a list price of \$207m (£128m), has been beset by problems this week.

The plane was designed to use power plants made by General Electric and Britain's Rolls-Royce.

On Wednesday, a domestic flight was halted by ANA because brake parts to the rear left undercarriage needed replacing, a spokesman at Yamaguchi Ube Airport said.

A Japan Air Lines (JAL) jet was also grounded at Boston Logan International airport in the US following an engine fuel leak.

About 40 gallons of fuel spilled from the jet that was supposed to be bound for Tokyo.

That event followed the first incident of the week, which also occurred at Boston, on Monday.

Emergency services had been called after another JAL 787 filled with smoke shortly after passengers and crew had disembarked.

Firefighters used infrared cameras to locate the fire in a battery pack in the belly of a different Boeing 787 and extinguished the blaze within 20 minutes.

Sky sources revealed that if the battery fire had occurred during a transocean flight the aircraft may have been brought down.

The 787 Dreamliner made its first commercial flight in late 2011, after a series of production delays put deliveries more than three years behind schedule.

By the end of last year, Boeing had sold 848 Dreamliners, and delivered 49. JAL and ANA operate 24 of the planes.

After the Boston events, British carriers including BA, Virgin Atlantic and Thomson Airways reaffirmed their plans to integrate 787s into fleets this year and next.

In India - where state-owned Air India has taken delivery of six Dreamliners and has more on order - a senior official at the aviation regulator said there was concern at the recent spate of 787 glitches.

Meanwhile, an Air India spokesman said the airline's debut Dreamliner flight from India to Paris on Thursday went without a hitch.

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