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FAA to review Dreamliner systems

Jan. 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM  |  Updated Jan. 11, 2013 at 9:34 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. aviation officials said Friday they will order a full review of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner following a rash of incidents.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it would examine the aircraft's design, electrical systems, manufacture and assembly, The New York Times reported.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was expected to provide more details about the review Friday during a news conference with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Ray Conner, head of Boeing's commercial airplane division.

The announcement of the review came as the National Transportation Safety Board was investigating why a battery pack caught fire in a parked 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport Monday. The fire occurred in a Japan Airlines plane from Tokyo after the passengers and crew deplaned.

More trouble arose for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner in Japan after All Nippon Airlines reported problems involving planes on two domestic flights, the airline said.

Officials reported cracks appeared Friday in the cockpit window of a Dreamliner heading to Matsuyama from Tokyo and oil was discovered leaking from an engine in a plane flying from Haneda to Miyazaki, The New York Times reported.

The Tokyo-to-Matsuyama flight, which had 237 passengers and nine crew members, landed safely and no one was injured, airline spokeswoman Megumi Tezuka said. The return flight was canceled so the window could be replaced.

Tezuka said it was the third time cracks appeared in the windshield of one of the 17 787s operated by All Nippon.

She said the cracks were on the outermost of the windshield's five layers and did not endanger the aircraft. Similar cracks have occasionally appeared in other aircraft types operated by All Nippon, she said.

"We do not see this as a sign of a fundamental problem [with the aircraft],"Tezuka said.

Concerning the oil leak, Tezuka said the plane carrying 159 passengers and eight crew members landed at Miyazaki, where it was checked before resuming its flight after a 51-minute delay.

The reports come just days after three incidents involving the Dreamliner raised concerns about the plane's reliability and safety, the Times said.

Besides the incident Monday, All Nippon canceled a domestic flight using the Dreamliner Wednesday after an onboard computer incorrectly indicated brake problems. On Tuesday, a fuel leak forced a 787 operated by Japan Airlines to return to its gate just before departing the Boston airport.

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