Earlier today, a Boeing 787 -- better known as the "Dreamliner" -- made an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in western Japan after a burning smell was detected in the plane's cockpit and cabin, and a cockpit message indicated battery problems in the plane. That incident was only the latest mechanical problem for Boeing's touted-but-beleaguered aircraft. So, as a precautionary measure, Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines grounded the 24 Dreamliners in their fleets -- meaning that a hefty percentage of the 50 vehicles Boeing has thus far delivered worldwide are, at the moment, not operational.
And now, the FAA just announced, the United States is following suit, grounding of all the 787s in the country. (Since United Airlines is the only operator using 787s at this point, the decision will directly affect only United's fleet.) Part of the concern was had to do with the fact that Boeing's problem's hit close to home: On January 7, a fire in JAL Dreamliner at Boston's Logan Airport prevented the plane from taking off -- resulting in, fortunately, no casualties, but resulting in many, many concerns about the planes' safety. Today's incident in Japan seems to have confirmed those fears.