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Another Boeing 787 Flight Cut Short

Mon, 06/24/2013 - 2:02pm
The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — The pilots of a Boeing 787 that left Houston bound for Denver circled back to Houston after a mechanical problem.

It's the third time in the past week that a flight involving Boeing's newest plane was cut short for a mechanical reason.

A United Airlines spokeswoman said Monday that Flight 94 returned to Houston shortly after takeoff on Sunday because of "a brake indicator issue."

Spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm said the flight, with 219 passengers and 13 crew members, made an emergency landing as a precaution. She said the airline made other accommodations for the passengers.

Dohm said a maintenance team examined the plane, and it was returned to service.

Boeing issued a statement very similar to one it gave last week after two other 787s had to make unscheduled landings for mechanical reasons. It said again that the 787 is "a great airplane and we know it will continue to receive heightened attention when reliability events occur in service."

A Boeing spokesman referred all further questions to United.

Separately, Poland's government said Monday that Boeing will offer compensation to LOT, the country's national airline, for the grounding of its two 787s earlier this year. A Polish official said the grounding following overheated batteries cost LOT more than $30 million in lost business.

Last week a United 787 made an unscheduled landing in Seattle on a Denver-to-Tokyo flight because an indicator showed a problem with the oil filter, and a London-to-Houston flight stopped in Newark, N.J., because of an indication of low oil level.

Boeing officials said those two events were unrelated to the overheating of lithium-ion batteries on two planes in January, which led regulators to ground all 787s worldwide for about three months. The cause of the overheating was not determined, but the Federal Aviation Administration approved 787s to fly again after Boeing made changes to the lithium-ion battery system.

Boeing calls the plane the Dreamliner. It is made largely of light, composite materials that help boost fuel mileage, making it attractive to airlines, which have ordered about 900 of them. About 50 are in airline fleets around the world. United is the only U.S. airline using the plane.

United shares fell 67 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $29.30 amid a broad market decline. Boeing shares were down $1.55 to $97.37.

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