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Boeing 787 Dreamliner: The impact of safety concerns

Plane manufacturer Boeing and an extensive number of aerospace analysts have responded relatively calmly to a cracked cockpit window, an electrical fire possibly caused by faulty batteries, fuel leaks, and brake problems possibly caused by computer problems.

All the faults were discovered in one type of aircraft – the hyper-modern 787 Dreamliner – and the incidents, which have all occurred in a matter of weeks, have generally been treated as safety-scares by passengers and the general media.

Industry observers have responded differently, however, with many insisting they have not been surprised by what has happened.

But as the number of worrying occurrences has increased, the chorus of analysts’ dismissals – which have generally described them as to-be-expected “teething problems” that are supposedly commonplace whenever an all-new aircraft goes into service – is beginning to sound hollow to many.

Suggestions that each situation has merely uncovered easy-to-fix faults, clearly raises the question why were they not both discovered and fixed before the plane went into commercial service in October 2011?

After all, deliveries of the plane to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) was delayed by three years. Might it not be tempting to expect Boeing’s engineers and safety inspectors to have spent their time during those years ensuring the plane was ready to enter service?

“I don’t think there’s any excuse for these problems any more,” Qatar Airways’ chief executive Akbar Al Baker told BBC News in a recent interview, ahead of many of the latest scares.

Reputations at risk

Regulators in India, the US and Japan are investigating. Others may follow suit, at least if further problems become apparent. Boeing says it is co-operating with the authorities.

Read full story on  BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated December 6, 2016 at 12:34 PM
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