The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivered to All Nippon Airways returned to the gate this morning at Okayama Airport in Japan after the pilot detected a hydraulic leak in one of the engines.
The plane, scheduled to fly to Tokyo with 88 passengers and a crew of six, was taxiing toward the end of the runway for takeoff when the hydraulic pump on the left engine failed. The pilot saw the hydraulic pressure dropping on a cockpit gauge and elected to return to the gate.
He shut down the left engine and used the right engine of the two-engine aircraft to power the plane back to the gate, media reports said. Passengers were deplaned and were accommodated on other flights.
The leak wasn’t the only mechanical problem that the small fleet of 787s has encountered since they began going in service last fall. Boeing has notified airlines using Rolls Royce engines to power their planes of a gearbox problem in some of those engines.
Those planes were grounded, and the gearboxes replaced with an improved version.
The 787 is the newest plane in Boeing’s catalog. It’s the first large airliner whose body and wings are made almost entirely of composite materials instead of metals.
The plane is supposedly 20 to 25 percent more efficient than earlier twin-engine, wide-bodied aircraft.