Published on Thursday, December 20, 2012

Electrical fault discovered on third Dreamliner

A second United Airlines 787 Dreamliner has reportedly suffered an electrical malfunction in less than a month.

A Qatar Airways 787 reported a similar fault, for which the airline's CEO Akbar Al Baker is demanding compensation from Boeing. 

"Two aircraft having the same major problem so quickly is a cause of concern," Al Baker said, prior to the discovery of the fault on a third aircraft. "Boeing needs to get their act together because the delay of more than three years in delivery forced us to slow our expansion plans."

Qatar recently became the first airline to operate 787 flights from the UK. British Airways and Thomson will add the revolutionary aircraft to their fleets next year.

United and Boeing say the latest fault has to do with the aircraft's electrical distribution panel.  In the second instance, the panel was fixed and the plane was put back into service. 

The airline is continuing to investigate the issue. 

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said in a television interview that these problems were "normal squawks" that happen whenever new planes are put into service. 

Other "squawks" have been occurred in the past month. Early in December two 787s developed leaks that could cause fuel drainage or fires.  The US Federal Aviation Administration ordered immediate checks of fuel line couplings on 787s to make sure none of the in-service aircraft had developed similar leaks.

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  • 'Normal Squawks'?

    A very strange comment from Boeing CEO Jim McNerney! Surely 'normal squawks' would be the same as basic snagging, (i.e. a loose toilet seat or armrest, seat light not working or a kinked carpet etc). To call a battery fire (fire on an aircraft!!!) and generator failure "normal squawks" is worrying to say the least, surely these could be major safety issues! If the engine on your brand new expensive car suddenly failed or caught fire, would you call it a normal squawk? I think not!

    By Keith Standen, Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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