Fuel leak temporarily grounds another Japan Airlines Boeing 787
On Tuesday, an Japan Airlines Boston to Tokyo flight was delayed after a fuel leak was discovered on the new Boeing 787. On Monday, a fire broke out aboard another JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Boston and Minneapolis
Officials at Boston's Logan International Airport say crews have contained a fuel leak from an outbound Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo, marking the second time in two days that JAL planes at Logan reported problems.Skip to next paragraph
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Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Richard Walsh said the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was towed back to the gate Tuesday after about 40 gallons (150 liters) of fuel spilled. He said the plane had 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board. Walsh said the plane was evaluated and departed that afternoon.
A JAL spokeswoman said the crew had reported a "mechanical issue."
Federal safety investigators intensified their scrutiny of a Monday fire aboard a Boeing 787 as concerned investors sold shares in the aircraft maker for a second day.
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Boeing on Tuesday confirmed that the fire aboard a Japan Airlines plane appeared to have started in a battery pack for the plane's auxiliary power unit.
The National Transportation Safety Board described the fire damage to the battery as "severe," and said it is sending two more investigators to examine the Japan Airlines plane. It also formed investigative groups to look at the plane's electrical systems as well as the fire response.
Boeing has a lot riding on the 787. The long-range jet promises a smoother travel experience and is 20 percent more fuel efficient than older models. After years of delays, Boeing has now delivered 49 of the planes, with almost 800 more on order.
The fire on Monday happened on the ground at Boston Logan International Airport, with no passengers on board. But in-flight fires can be catastrophic, so the matter is getting close scrutiny by aviation authorities.
Interest is especially high in this fire because of indications that lithium batteries — which generally have not been used on large planes before the 787 — can burn very hot, with fires that are difficult to put out. The NTSB said it took firefighters 40 minutes to put out the fire near the back of the plane.
JAL spokeswoman Carol Anderson said the airline inspected its 787s after the fire. She declined to discuss the results, but noted that no schedule changes were made as a result of the inspections.