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Boeing’s Dreamliner continues to be plagued by maintenance issues

“An Air India Boeing 787-800 [Dreamliner], registration VT-ANJ performing flight AI-301 from Melbourne, VI (Australia) to Delhi (India) with 215 people on board, was enroute at FL380 about 20nm north of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) when all three flight management computer system failed simultaneously. The crew diverted to Kuala Lumpur for a safe landing on runway 32L about 65 minutes later. The airline reported a software malfunction caused the simultaneous malfunction of the FMCs.” (Source: https://www.aeroinside.com/item/3665/air-india-b788-near-kuala-lumpur-on-feb-5th-2014-all-flight-management-computers-failed).

“Boeing dispatched a team from Hong Kong to inspect the plane, G.P. Rao, an airline spokesman, said by telephone. The malfunction may have been the result of a software upgrade, Rao said. Press Trust of India reported that the jet carried 215 people. ‘We are aware of the in-service incident and working with Air India to provide support,’ Kate Bergman, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing, said by e-mail without giving details. The Dreamliner has experienced a series of malfunctions since its debut in 2011, including a three-month grounding of the global fleet in 2013 after battery meltdowns on two planes. In January, Japan Airlines Co., one of the biggest operators of the Dreamliner, found a battery cell in an empty jet smoking during preflight maintenance. Boeing needs to improve the reliability of the Dreamliner to satisfy customers, Mike Fleming, vice president of 787 services and support, said Jan. 24. Last year’s grounding added to a history of setbacks for the Dreamliner, whose entry into commercial service in 2011 for Tokyo-based ANA Holdings Inc. was more than 3 1/2 years late because of production snags and other delays. Mumbai-based Air India has sparred with Boeing over compensation for tardy deliveries. It’s the first jetliner built chiefly of composite materials rather than traditional aluminum. It also relies to a greater degree than other jets on electricity to run the plane’s systems, putting a spotlight on the lithium-ion batteries.” (Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-05/air-india-dreamliner-diverted-to-kuala-lumpur-on-technical-fault.html).

The Dreamliner returned to service in April 2013, but Japan Airlines experienced a battery-related issue during a maintenance flight in January 2014. Pilot Law will continued to diligently monitor developments as Boeing continues to iron-out post-delivery glitches in the Dreamliner.