Boeing Dreamliner investigation ordered by Japan

Jan 15 2013

Japan's transport ministry has launched an investigation into what caused two fuel leaks on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet operated by Japan Airlines.

It comes after US authorities started a broad review of the aircraft's manufacturing, design and assembly.

In recent days, flights involving Dreamliners have been affected by an electrical fire and a brake problem amongst others incidents.

However, US officials have said the plane is safe.

At the weekend, the Japan Airlines (JAL) Dreamliner jet undergoing checks after a fuel leak at Boston Airport again leaked fuel. The leaks were valve-related.

"Given the fuel leakage incidents occurred in succession, the minister directed the aviation director of the Regional Civil Aviation Bureau to open an investigation and find the causes of the two leaks as soon as possible," the ministry said in a statement.

Japanese authorities said they would work with Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which launched an investigation in the US on Friday.

The FAA said the aircraft was safe to fly, but needed a comprehensive review to ensure there were no flaws to be corrected.

Of the 50 Dreamliners delivered to date, 24 of them are being operated in Japan by JAL and rival All Nippon Airways.

However, the quick succession with which the incidents have taken place has intensified scrutiny on the aircraft.

The 787 is the first aircraft made mainly from carbon-composite. The lightweight material is said to cut fuel costs, a major expense for airlines.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News 2013 BBC

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