United Airlines Boeing 787 in emergency landing as inspections ordered


Boeing advised airlines flying the 787 to make inspections last month, and it said about half of the 33 jets in service have already been inspected.

The FAA directive was first reported by Bloomberg News.

The agency issued a previous airworthiness directive for the 787 and 747 in September, after problems with General Electric GEnx engines on those models. Such directives alert aircraft operators to a known safety defect.


Separately, a brand new United Airlines 787 Dreamliner with 184 people aboard was forced to divert and make an emergency landing in New Orleans on Tuesday after experiencing a mechanical problem on a flight from Houston to Newark, N.J.

The pilots of Flight 1146 declared an emergency while in the air. When the plane landed safely around 9:25 a.m. CDT, fire trucks were on the runway, a standard procedure.

Initial inspections showed that there was no fire in the aft electrical equipment bay, where the problem was reported, and no sign of electrical "arcing," or electricity flowing incorrectly, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Boeing Co is ramping up production of the 787 to help reduce a backlog of 838 orders worth more than $173 billion.

While concerns about its safety could affect passenger perceptions and raise issues with deliveries to other airlines, analysts said flight diversions are not unusual, especially with new aircraft.

"These are the typical growing pains one would expect with a new airplane as it enters service," said Carter Leake, a former military and commercial pilot who is now an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets. "No conclusions can be drawn."

United said the problem occurred with its third 787, delivered on Nov. 27. The airline, which is due to receive two more 787s this month put the passengers on other flights to Newark.

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