NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It looked like clear skies ahead when United Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to add the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to its fleet last month, but a pair of setbacks earlier this week has airlines exercising caution.
United says one of their Dreamliners was forced to make an emergency landing in New Orleans on Tuesday after the failure of one of six generators . The 787 never lost power. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued an order that all 787s must undergo an inspection of the plane's fuel lines.
According to Mark Rosenker, CBS News Aviation & Transportation Safety Analyst, the order for the new inspection requirement is not uncommon.
"Every single brand-new aircraft that has ever been designed and been manufactured and delivered will have some problems in its initial production," says Rosenker.
United says the generator on the grounded plane has been replaced and additional tests are being performed before the plane is returned to service. The airline has also checked all three of its Dreamliners for fuel leaks and no problems were found.
The aircraft, built with composite materials that make it lighter and more fuel efficient than traditional jetliners, was designed to be a revolutionary plane.
"This is an aircraft which tremendous engineering, research, and development has gone into and it is a safe aircraft," says Rosenker.
Despite the lofty expectations for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the aircraft has not been without its hiccups. There have been a series of production delays, including a three year delay in delivery and a prior issue with the plane's engine.