Another Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane from Japan Airlines enroute to San Francisco was forced to make an emergency landing in Honolulu on Saturday when the oil pressure in its right engine dropped. This is the latest in a series of mishaps involving the supposedly high-tech but problematic Dreamliner models.
Yang Jian, a spokesman for JAL said that the two-engined jetliner took off from Tokyo but had to be rerouted to Honolulu when the cockpit indicators showed that the oil pressure was down and they landed at 1:00 PM, local time. The plane had 160 passengers and 11 crew members on board but there were no reported injuries. Jian said they are still investigating the reason for the oil pressure drop and for now, the Dreamliner is still parked in the Honolulu International Airport.
The Dreamliners’ problems started in January last year when a JAL plane’s battery melted and started spewing out smoke at the Logan Airport in Boston. After a few days, a similar plane, this time from All Nippon Airways, experienced battery overheating. Flight regulators was forced to issue to ground the global fleet of the 787s to conduct a thorough investigation. The grounding lasted for more than three months and badly affected the operations of the two Japanese carriers. The planes were only allowed to return to operation after Boeing redesigned the batteries with insulation that would eject hot gases out of the aircraft. They also encased the battery in a steel box that would contain the fire. But despite the redesign, in January this year, another JAL Dreamliner’s battery overheated while parked at the Narita International Airport. Authorities have still not been able to determine what causes these battery meltdowns.
[ via Reuters ]