JAL 787 Dreamliner leaks fuel again

JIJI, Bloomberg

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 that sprung a fuel leak last week in Boston was again found leaking fuel Sunday during an inspection at Narita International Airport.

“Fuel from a nozzle on the left wing used for discharging fuel leaked out,” JAL said in a statement. “This aircraft was not scheduled to be in service today and no passengers or working staff on the ground were injured. Appropriate inspections will be carried out.”

JAL said full inspection and maintenance work was carried out on the aircraft once it returned to Narita from Boston’s Logan International Airport on Wednesday night. But when the workers began draining fuel from the left wing tank on Sunday, about 100 liters spilled out from the fuel release nozzle, where a valve was later found open just as it had been in Boston, the airline said.

JAL did not find any problems with the work carried out and is now looking at the likelihood that a systemic defect is opening the valve by accident.

The incident is the latest in a week of operational setbacks for Boeing’s newest and most technologically advanced jet. The day before the JAL 787 leak at Boston on Jan. 8, another JAL Dreamliner, also at Logan, was hit by an electrical fire involving an aft auxiliary power unit while parked empty at a gate. Later, an All Nippon Airways 787 suffered a cockpit windshield crack. Engine oil was found leaking from another ANA Dreamliner.

U.S. officials pronounced the 787 safe last week even as the Federal Aviation Administration announced a special review of the plane.

Electrical faults forced United Continental Holdings Inc. and Qatar Airways Ltd. to ground 787s in December.

ANA and JAL are among the biggest users of the Dreamliner.