US regulators review Boeing 787 evacuation in Japan

16 января 2013, 14:16
The US Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it was reviewing an emergency landing of a Boeing Dreamliner in Japan as part of a wider probe into the jet's systems, AFP reports.

Boeing's troubled next-generation model has suffered a series of glitches that have prompted investigations by aviation regulators in Japan and the United States, although Boeing insists the plane is safe.

"The FAA is monitoring a preliminary report of an incident in Japan earlier today involving a Boeing 787," it said in a statement.

"The incident will be included in the comprehensive review the FAA began last week of the 787 critical systems, including design, manufacture and assembly."

All Nippon Airways -- the world's first carrier to receive the Dreamliner from Boeing after years of delays -- said a battery problem triggered a cockpit error message that forced the pilots to land the plane earlier in southwestern Japan.

Both ANA and its rival Japan Airlines (JAL) -- which together are among Boeing's biggest customers for the Dreamliner -- said they would ground their entire 787 fleets pending safety checks, according to multiple media reports.

ANA has 17 Dreamliners in operation and JAL has seven.

The two airlines have a combined 100-plus planes either already delivered or on order, in deals worth billions of dollars for Boeing.

On Friday, US regulators announced an in-depth safety review of the 787, while Japan announced a probe on Monday. But Boeing insists that it has "complete confidence" in the plane.

Considered a milestone in the aviation industry with its use of lightweight composite materials and electronics instead of aluminum and hydraulics, some 50 of the US aerospace giant's 787s are in service worldwide.

Boeing, which outsourced much of the production to Japanese and other contractors, says the plane's impressive fuel efficiency represents a revolution in aircraft design.

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