Windscreen crack seen in Dreamliner
Tokyo, January 11, 2013
A Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways Co landed safely on a domestic flight in Japan on Friday after a crack appeared in a cockpit window.
The flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport landed at Matsuyama airport in western Japan and the plane's return flight to Tokyo was cancelled. No one was injured.
It is the fourth incident this week to test confidence in the Dreamliner, the world's first carbon-composite airliner, which comes with a list price of $207 million.
US transportation authorities are launching a review of the aircraft, a source told Reuters, in the wake of separate mishaps involving an electrical fire, a fuel leak and a brake-control computer glitch. The US Federal Aviation Administration will announce a review into the jet's power system at a press conference later on Friday, Bloomberg News reported.
ANA said crew noticed a spider web-like crack in a window in front of the pilot's seat about 70 minutes into Friday's flight, which was close to its destination.
"Cracks appear a few times every year in other planes. We don't see this as a sign of a fundamental problem" with Boeing aircraft, a spokesman for the airline said.
The latest mishap came just hours before ANA was due to launch its maiden service between Tokyo and San Jose, California with the Dreamliner. That flight was due to leave Tokyo at 0830 GMT, returning to Japan after a 90-minute turnaround in the United States.
ANA and local rival Japan Airlines Co fly 24 of the 49 Dreamliners delivered to end-December.
In India - where state-owned Air India has taken delivery of six Dreamliner jets and has more on order - a senior government official said there was concern about the recent glitches that have hit the new aircraft. He said the government was waiting for a safety report by the country's National Transportation Safety Board.
While problems are not uncommon when new aircraft enter service - the 787 had its first commercial flight in November 2011 - analysts have noted they will compound perceptions of the plane, and of Boeing, after the Dreamliner debuted more than three years behind schedule due to a series of production delays.
Separately, Makoto Yoda, president of Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp, which makes the Dreamliner batteries, said his company is looking into an incident on Monday in which a battery in the auxiliary power unit of a JAL-operated Dreamliner suffered "severe fire damage".
Yoda said GS Yuasa is sending a team of engineers to cooperate with a U.S. investigation, but added it had not had an impact on its business. Shares in GS Yuasa were up 1.2 percent on Friday after sharp falls earlier this week. Shares in ANA were up 0.6 percent in a broader market that gained 1.5 percent. -Reuters