For all the years we heard whispers and excited buzzing about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner before its debut, it seemed sort of like a mythical flying beast. And since its inaugural U.S. commercial flight in November it’s definitely becoming legendary — but for all the wrong reasons. The Federal Aviation Administration has launched a probe into the beleaguered plane after a recent spate of problems.
The FAA and Boeing say the probe will look into the design, manufacture and assembly of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, reports CNNMoney.
Just today a problem with leaking oil was discovered in the generator of an engine on an All Nippon Airways Dreamliner, and a crack appeared in the cockpit window of another of the airline’s planes on the way from Tokyo to a city in Western Japan.
But that’s not all, folks: On Monday a maintenance worker discovered an electrical fire on a Japan Airlines 787 that was empty but was supposed to depart from Logan International Airport in Boston. Then on Tuesday All Nippon canceled a flight because the crew had an error message about the plane’s braking system.
Add those problems up and you’ve got to do something, said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta and Ray Conner, the head of Boeing’s commercial airplanes unit at a news conference today.
Even though the probe is happening, LaHood and Huerta insist the plane is safe, and LaHood went so far as to say he’d even fly in one.
“We are confident about the safety of this aircraft, but we’re concerned about these incidents,” said Huerta, adding that the investigation would look closely at how the plane’s electrical components interact with its mechanical components.
So far Boeing has delivered 50 Dreamliners to various airlines and has 800 more in the pipeline that will take years to fulfill. Some experts point out that these problems are fairly routine for any kind of plane, but because of all the hubbub and press the Dreamliner has gotten in recent years, even a minor issue gets a lot of attention.
Better safe than sorry, my grandma and everyone else’s always said.
FAA opens probe of Boeing Dreamliner woes [CNNMoney]