Following two weeks of reports of fuel leaks and electrical problems with the 787 Dreamliner from Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Japan has created a team of aviation ministry and freight safety officials to investigate the safety of the aircraft. One 787 belonging to Japan Airlines caught fire at Boston's Logan International Airport last week and at least three others experienced fuel leaks, a cracked window in the cockpit, and an oil leak.
The Japanese team will cooperate with a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) special review committee according to a report at Bloomberg News. The review committee includes representatives from Boeing.
As if to counter the bad news in the 787's jetstream, American Airlines has filed a notice with the SEC today announcing that it will substitute orders for up to 20 of the 787-9 models with the currently available 787-8 models in an effort to get the planes by the end of 2014.
It is likely that the investigations into the problems with the 787 will conclude that the issues are not serious enough to ground the plane, but that additional inspections and perhaps some design changes need to be made to ensure that the planes are safe to fly. Boeing does not need passengers asking themselves the question, "Are you feeling lucky today?"
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