Boeing 787 Makes Forced Landing in Japan

Posted January 15th, 2013 at 8:55 pm (UTC-5)
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A Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” has been forced to make an emergency landing in western Japan. National broadcaster NHK said smoke appeared in the jet liner's cabin.

Television footage showed emergency chutes deployed from the plane at the airport in Takamatsu, on Japan's fourth largest island of Shikoku.

Wednesday's incident is the latest in a series of blows to the Dreamliner's reputation.

The plane operated by the All Nippon Airways was en route to Tokyo's Haneda airport from Yamaguchi Ube airport in Western Japan. The cause of the emergency landing is under investigation.

An airline official said all the passengers and crew members were safely evacuated from the aircraft. It was not immediately clear how many were on board.

Problems plaguing Boeing's new 787 have triggered U.S. investigators to launch a top-priority safety review.

The plane encountered various mechanical breakdowns last month, including several electrical problems. Then last week there were problems with three different “Dreamliners” that had brake and battery issues, and a fuel leak on a runway.

The aircraft carries up to 290 passengers and is the first major airliner to be built mostly from composite materials rather than metal. It consumes 20 percent less fuel than similarly sized planes.

Despite the mishaps, U.S.-based Boeing has said it has “extreme confidence” in the aircraft.