Investigators Dispatched to Scene of Latest Boeing 787 Incident

 - January 7, 2013, 4:24 PM
A JAL Boeing 787 caught fire at Boston Logan International Airport, adding to the Dreamliner's teething pains. (Photo: Boeing)

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched personnel to investigate a fire that broke out Monday morning in a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 parked at Boston Logan International Airport. The fire emanated from what an airport spokesman described as a compartment in the belly of the fuselage. However, he also told AIN that earlier reports that it originated in the avionics bay have proven inaccurate.

The airplane in question arrived at Logan following a revenue flight from Tokyo at 10 a.m. and taxied to gate E8A in Terminal E as scheduled by 10:05, said the Massport spokesman. All 173 passengers and 11 crewmembers had departed by the time airplane cleaners reported smoke in the cabin at 10:37 am. Firefighters arrived at 10:39 and extinguished the fire “within minutes,” according to the Massport spokesman.

Contacted for comment, a Boeing spokesperson would say only the company knew of the event and that Boeing is working to support its customer.

The fire marked the fourth in a string of incidents involving Boeing 787s in a little more than a month. Electrical failures led to the grounding of a pair of United Airlines 787s and a Qatar Airways Dreamliner in December. The first incident involved a United airplane en route from Newark International Airport to Houston on December 4, when what the airline later described as a nuisance warning forced the crew to divert to New Orleans. Qatar grounded one of its 787s on December 9, after that airplane exhibited electrical problems during its delivery flight to Doha. Finally, United grounded a second 787 due to yet another electrical fault only ten days after the incident during the flight to Houston.