ATW Editor's Blog

Dreamliner Nightmare


More bad news for the Boeing 787 tonight, I'm afraid, with reports that an ANA Dreamliner has made an emergency landing in Japan -- and more reports now coming in that ANA has grounded its 787 fleet.

Boeing essentially confirmed the incident, saying it was aware of the event and was working with its customer.

Some reports are saying that the flight crew reported a battery malfunction, but this early on it's difficult to tell whether that's a fact or a leap based on the current extreme spotlight that is cast on the aircraft's electric systems.

Whatever facts eventually become known, JAL's statement that a fuel leak was found on one of its 787s, while the NTSB investigates a fire that broke out last week on another JAL 787, the FAA review and now a Japanese government review of the Dreamliner are making this an increasingly uncomfortable situation that will demand answers, fast.

And I would hazard a guess that the most uncomfortable of all right now are not 787 customers or even Boeing; it's the US DOT and FAA leaders who stated so publicly last week that they have complete confidence in the safety of the 787 -- even as their review and the NTSB investigation have a ways to go before all the facts are known.

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