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    Japan Now Enters Probe of Boeing Dreamliner

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    Posted on January 15, 2013 To

    In the wake of another 787 Dreamliner problem at Japan’s airport over the weekend, its transport ministry has launched an investigation into what caused two separate fuel leaks on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines Company. The investigation comes just days after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it was undergoing a comprehensive review of the next generation aircraft following a number of incidents in the United States as well. The Chicago Tribune reported today (1/15/13) that Japan’s transport minister said in a press conference that passenger confidence in the Dreamliner is on the line. The Tribune reported that Akihiro Ota, Japan’s transport minister, told reporters today at a ministry briefing, “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.” Japan is the largest market for the Dreamliner to date with Japan Airlines Company and its rival All Nippon Airways Company flying 24 of the 50 Dreamliners delivered to date. Another 800 are expected to be purchased by various airlines in the next several years. The aircraft, manufactured by Chicago-based Boeing, is the company’s attempt to use new technology to cut fuel costs. Each lightweight jet reportedly has a list price of $207 million. Some of the Dreamliners in operation have experienced problems such as fuel leaks, a battery fire, a wiring problem, a brake computer glitch and a cracked cockpit window. These separate incidents have caused intense scrutiny on the new design although U.S. officials have said that the aircraft is safe to fly while the investigation is underway. Japan’s ministry released a statement Monday (1/14/13) that read in an email: “Given the fuel leakage incidents occurred in succession, the minister directed the aviation director of the Regional Civil Aviation Bureau to open an investigation and find the causes of the two leaks as soon as possible.” It added that the transport ministry has been in touch with U.S. aviation officials at the FAA as well as Boeing.