Fuel Spill on Dreamliner at Logan Airport Raises Concerns

(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - Another day, another nightmare for the Dreamliner.

On Tuesday, a Boeing 787 bound for Tokyo out of Boston’s Logan Airport spilled fuel on the tarmac as it was taxing for takeoff.

"The aircraft was stopped and some fuel vented out of the left side of the aircraft, the left fuel tank, about 40 gallons of fuel spilled on the surface, none of that fuel went into the ocean, we contained it right away," Massport Aviation Director Edward Frenti said.

Freni says the 787 was towed back to the gate, and passengers deplaned while mechanics examined the plane.

The exact cause of the fuel spill is unknown, but the plane was eventually cleared for flight.

"There are a couple of reasons that it could happen, it could be a fuel transfer from one tank to another, that may be one reason, or an overfueling process," Frenti said.

On Monday, the same Japan Airlines Flight 7 was grounded after a fire in the electronics and equipment bay most likely sparked by the auxiliary power unit battery.

That plane sits on Logan’s tarmac as the NTSB continues to investigate.

"When you do airplanes that are this advanced, there are some risks in the technology," said MIT Aeronautics Professor John Hansman.

Hansman says these are two unrelated incidents, and he doesn’t see Boeing grounding the fleet because of them.

"The airplane is a very solid airplane, these are teething problems, it’s a new airplane, fairly advanced airplane, and I expect that they’ll be worked out very quickly," said Hansman.

Freni agrees, and says the Dreamliner is a plane the airport and entire aviation community can’t afford to lose.

"This is a great airplane and this is a game-changer for Logan Airport and Boston and the Commonwealth because this airplane can reach those destinations," said Freni, "so we are confident that Boeing will make sure that yesterday’s incident is handled properly and taken care of."

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