- Title: JAPAN: Japan to probe fuel leaks on Boeing Dreamliner
- Date: 15th January 2013
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE - SEPTEMBER 2011) (REUTERS) BOEING 787 ON DISPLAY IN HANGER VARIOUS OF 787 ON DISPLAY
- Embargoed: 30th January 2013 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Transport
- Reuters ID: LVA95QUH0OZP6T07SHDLVR6I1X1O
- Story Text: Japan's transport ministry has launched an investigation into what caused two fuel leaks on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet operated by Japan Airlines Co, just days after U.S. authorities began a wide-ranging review of the aircraft following a series of incidents, including a battery fire.
Over the weekend, the JAL jet, which was undergoing checks in Japan following a fuel leak at Boston airport in the United States last week, again leaked fuel during tests. Both leaks were due to separate valve-related problems.
"I have decided that with news of continuing incidents of fuel leaks from Boeing 787's to order the aviation director of the Civil Aviation Bureau to investigate them and look into the root cause of the two incidents," Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Akihiro Oota told reporters on Tuesday (January 15).
A series of recent incidents - the fuel leaks, the battery fire, a wiring problem, brake computer glitch and cracked cockpit window - have focused intense scrutiny on the new plane.
While many of the mishaps are considered routine for a new design entering service, their occurrence in quick succession on an aircraft boasting major new technology has sparked concerns about its safety.
"Looking at this from the point of view of average citizens, having these sort of incidents occur seemingly day after day, one could become very uneasy," Oota said.
"We plan to look into the scale of these accidents and what the overall situation is. We will convey the message to those who operate (the plane) that it is absolutely necessary to be safe," Oota added.
Japan is the biggest market so far for the Dreamliner, with JAL and local rival All Nippon Airways Co flying 24 of the 50 Dreamliners delivered to date.
The 787, the world's first mainly carbon-composite airliner, is Boeing's boldest effort to revolutionize commercial aviation by using new technology to cut fuel costs by around a fifth.
Each lightweight jet has a list price of 207 million U.S. dollars.
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