Fuel Valve Issue Grounds JAL 787

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Japan Airlines says a mysterious series of fuel valve malfunctions will keep one of its Boeing 787s out of service indefinitely as engineers track the problem. According to Reuters, the aircraft dumped about 40 gallons of fuel on the ramp at Boston Logan Airport after a transfer valve linking the belly tank and a wing tank opened uncommanded. Fuel from the belly filled the wing, which then overflowed through a vent. The aircraft returned to Tokyo for further tests and while on the ramp in Japan a valve used to defuel the aircraft opened and spilled fuel on the ground.

The fuel problems surfaced as the FAA ordered a review of manufacturing and supply chain for the aircraft in the wake of an APU battery fire, which also happened on JAL plane at Boston. In recent weeks, the windshield of a 787 cracked and another had an oil leak. Boeing insists these are normal shakeout issues that occur when new designs enter service. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood said last week he believes the aircraft are safe and he wouldn't hesitate to get on one.