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Thu, Jan 10, 2013

Boeing Issues Statement On JAL Dreamliner Incident

Company 'Working Closely' With NTSB On Investigation

Boeing issued a statement late Tuesday regarding the electrical fire that broke out Monday aboard a JAL Dreamliner sitting at a gate at Boston Logan International Airport. There were no passengers aboard the airliner when the fire started, and it was extinguished by airport and Boston fire personnel.

"(W)e are working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), our customer and other government agencies," Boeing said in the statement. "JAL has reported that smoke detected while a 787 was on the ground after passengers disembarked and during cleaning was traced to the battery used to start the auxiliary power unit (APU).
 
"As is standard practice within the industry, it would be premature to discuss additional details at this stage as the investigation is ongoing. 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. Information about the prior events has been shared with the NTSB and they are aware of the details.
 
"Boeing is cooperating with the NTSB in the investigation of this incident. Before providing more detail, we will give our technical teams the time they need to do a thorough job and ensure we are dealing with facts, not speculation."

But crisis communications aside, investors were reportedly casting a wary eye at the planemaker, with its shares down sharply over the past two days. The selloff was reportedly prompted in part by not only the fire aboard the JAL plane, but also an incident involving another JAL Dreamliner departing Boston on Tuesday. That flight was reportedly delayed after fuel was spotted leaking from one of the airplane's wings by the pilot of another aircraft as it taxied out for takeoff, according to media sources including CNN.

Those were just the most recent incidents following three in December, one of which led to an emergency landing for an unspecified "mechanical problem" on a Dreamliner flight operated by United Airlines, and a similar problem discovered by Qatar Airways which led them to ground one of their Dreamliners.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the FAA ordered an inspection of all 787s to ensure proper installation of fuel line connectors in December, and on Tuesday, as United was performing that FAA-mandated inspection, it reportedly discovered faulty wiring on one of its 787s.

The NTSB said it would not be investigating the JAL fuel leak as it is doing with the electrical fire.

(NTSB image)

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.ntsb.gov

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