Maintenance light prompts Dreamliner flight to return to Boston

Friday, July 19, 2013 - 2:08am

A Japan Airlines flight headed to Japan returned to Boston on Thursday after a maintenance message indicator light came on in the cockpit.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the flight was ordered back to Boston," said Matt Brelis, director of media relations at Massport, the authority that oversees airports in Massachusetts. He identified the aircraft as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

A Japan Airlines spokeswoman and the official Twitter account of Boston's Logan International Airport later reported the aircraft had landed.

There were 184 passengers on board, according to Carol Anderson, the airline spokeswoman.

She said the indicator light suggested a possible fuel pump problem. It was not immediately clear how long the flight was airborne before the light came on.

In Tokyo, Japan Airlines said in a statement that the flight change was made "as a standard precautionary measure." The plane landed safely in Boston, the statement added.

The incident is the latest in a string of Dreamliner issues.

Dreamliner's lithium-ion batteries were blamed for two overheating instances this year in Boston and Japan. No one was hurt in either case, but the problems spurred the Federal Aviation Administration to ground the planes.

Last week, a fire broke out on an empty Boeing 787 Dreamliner at London's Heathrow Airport. An emergency beacon was blamed.

Boeing has placed a big bet on the Dreamliner, the first of a new generation of wide-body, long-range aircraft which use composite materials rather than aluminum to save weight and increase fuel efficiency.


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