A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) and bound for Kumamoto had to make a u-turn and go back to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport after a malfunction of the weather radar was detected. There was no major incident during the flight back, and all passengers and crew members were able to transfer to another plane that flew them to their destination.
Flight 641 took off from Tokyo at around 9AM and was bound for the southern city of Kumamoto with 234 passengers. But after a little more than an hour, the plane returned to Haneda at around 1020AM, due to “trouble with the weather radar”. They transferred to another Dreamliner and that plane safely reached Kumamoto early afternoon, without incident. According to ANA spokesman Ryosei Nomura, the problem with the radar was not specific to the 787 and it “could happen in other models of airplane”.
While the error was not uncommon for other planes, this incident is just another one in the long line of problems operators have had with the Boeing high-tech plane. Earlier this year, there was a four-month world-wide fleet grounding of all Dreamliners after problems with the batteries caused problems with ANA and Japan Airlines, two of the biggest operators of the 787s. The resumption of the flights last June has been followed by a series of smaller mishaps, including wiring defects and problems with the emergency beacon. Boeing and the two Japanese carriers took out ads in major Japanese dailies to promote the safety of the 787s before they resumed their flights.