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article imageBoeing 787 Dreamliner evacuated after emergency landing in Japan

By Anne Sewell     Jan 16, 2013 in World
Takamatsu - An All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787 Dreamliner was forced to make an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport in Western Japan on Wednesday morning. Following this two Japanese airlines grounded all their Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes.
Digital Journal recently reported that, after a series of incidents, US regulators were questioning the safety of the 787 Dreamliner plane, which is the flagship plane of Boeing. Boeing is doing its best to salvage the image of the Dreamliner, as the world's most advanced passenger jet.
However, this has been followed by two Japanese airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), grounding their Dreamliners after technical failures have struck several of the jets within just a matter of days.
After a battery malfunction forced an ANA Dreamliner to make an emergency landing at Takamatsu Aiport in Western Japan on Wednesday, ANA grounded 17 of its Boeing 787's for emergency inspections.
On the same day JAL suspended flights for all of its seven Dreamliners over safety concerns, with Japan's transport ministry saying it was launching an investigation into the cause of two fuel leaks on a JAL Dreamliner.
Between the two Japanese airlines, they operate more Dreamliners than any other carriers. Reportedly, 24 of the 50 planes sold worldwide so far have been bought by the Japanese airlines, with both carriers having placed large orders for more of the world's first mainly carbon-composite airliner.
Relating to the latest emergency landing at Takamatsu, Japanese Transport Minister Akihiro Ota told the media, "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."
"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," he added.
In the latest incident, NHK quoted a passenger from the plane as saying that he "smelled something strange" just after takeoff. He said he was afraid the plane was going to crash. Shortly after this, all 129 passengers and eight crew on board the plane were safely evacuated using inflatable slides. However, five people did sustain minor injuries. The evacuation can be seen in the video above, filmed by a reporter for the Japanese television network TBS who was on board the plane.
According to Japanese media, smoke was detected inside the cockpit. The company is claiming that the pilots decided to land after detecting a battery problem, with ANA spokesperson Naoko Yamamoto saying, "[The plane] made an emergency landing at Takamatsu because there was an error message during the flight."
Reuters is reporting that Shigeru Takano, a senior safety official at the Civil Aviation Bureau, said that a second warning light in the cockpit indicated smoke.
A Boeing spokesman, Marc Birtel told Reuters, "We've seen the reports, we're aware of the events and are working with our customer."
The latest incident with ANA’s Dreamliner is one in a recent string of malfunctions by the world’s most advanced model of passenger plane. Reportedly, several Dreamliner jets have suffered brake computer mishaps, accumulator fires, cracks in the cockpit front window, fuel leakages and wiring problems.
The latest incidents could quite possibly force aviation regulators to ground all of the Dreamliners currently in the air for detailed technical inspections. Apparently the US Federal Aviation Administration has already started a high-priority review of the design of the jet.
Boeing's Japanese suppliers are getting hit hard on the Japanese stock market as the news prompts a slide in value by several percentage points.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes emergency landing and evacuation at Takamatsu airport in Japan
Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes emergency landing and evacuation at Takamatsu airport in Japan
Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes emergency landing and evacuation at Takamatsu airport in Japan
Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes emergency landing and evacuation at Takamatsu airport in Japan
More about Japan, Boeing 787, Dreamliner, Emergency landing, Evacuation
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