If Boeing was looking to 2014 as a fresh start for its constantly malfunctioning Dreamliner, that particular dream is almost certainly crushed by now. In addition to one of the plane’s batteries malfunctioning (again) just a few days ago, a Norweigan’s Airlines flight was cancelled yesterday after a passenger noticed that fuel was pouring from a valve on the plane’s wing.
Fortunately, the passenger, Ann Kristin Balto from Tromsø, noticed the highly disconcerting leak as the plane was taxiing to the runway — before it actually took off. After alerting the stewardess, the flight was immediately cancelled. Despite the fact that it was indeed a passenger who saw the leak and stopped the plane directly before takeoff, Norweigian spokesperson Charlotte Holmbergh Jacobsson told The Local that “the pilot would have been aware of the leak from his instruments.” Uh-huh.
Of course, it’s not necessarily Norweigan’s fault. Particularly considering Boeing Dreamliner’s short, precarious history. As Balto told The Local:
The passengers weren’t angry at Norwegian, but felt more that Norwegian has unfortunately been put into a very difficult situation by buying these Dreamliner planes.
But that doesn’t mean we know for certain it’s Dreamliner’s fault either! There’s always the possibility some careless technician left the gas valve open. Either way, not great luck for the Dreamliner line. Just last year, the entire Dreamliner fleet was grounded for four months after a battery exploded in Boston. But if things keep going the way they have for Boeing, the next time might be a whole lot longer than just four months. [The Local]
Picture: Kristin Balto