A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways Co was forced to make an emergency landing in Takamatsu in western Japan after smoke appeared in the plane’s cockpit.
All 137 passengers and crew members aboard were evacuated safely. The incident, however, highlights the questionable safety record of Boeing’s newest aircraft.
The new plane is sophisticated and is the first made mainly of carbon-composite. Reuters reports that the incident is the latest in a slew of problems for the Dreamliner, which has already suffered two fuel leaks, a battery fire, a wiring problem, brake computer glitch, and a cracked cockpit window.
The emergency landing came on Wednesday when the AMA flight bound for Haneda Airport near Tokyo reported seeing smoke around 8:45 am local time. Marc Birtel, a spokesman for Boeing, stated:
“We’ve seen the reports, we’re aware of the events and are working with our customer.”
Japan has been the biggest market for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, but Japan’s transport minister acknowledged that passenger confidence in the new jet is waning after both Japan and the United States opened broad, open-ended investigations into the plane’s problems.
All Nippon Airways is reporting that it will ground all Boeing 787 aircraft from its fleet while it performs emergency inspections. Yahoo! News notes that the plane made an emergency landing and evacuated all passengers and crew after instruments in the flight’s cockpit indicated a battery malfunction and the pilot smelled something strange.
While there were reports of smoke in the cockpit, the company is still checking to see if any smoke emitted into it. ANA and Japan Airlines are flying 24 of the 50 Dreamliners currently in service across the world.
Japanese authorities have also announced that they will investigate the fuel leaks reported on a 787 operated by JAL. The US National Transportation Safety Board also announced it will analyze the lithium-ion battery and burned wire bundles that came from a fire aboard another JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which burned at Boston’s Logan Airport last week.