* Latest problem for glitch-prone aircraft
* Panel fall from underside of Air India plane landing at
* Air India, Boeing say no risk to passengers
SEATTLE/NEW DELHI, Oct 16 A body panel fell off
a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Air India
as it came into land on Saturday, the latest glitch for the
high-tech jet that has suffered a string of mishaps since its
introduction two years ago.
The eight feet by four feet (2.4 metres by 1.2 metres) piece
of fuselage fell from the underside of the jet and landed within
the perimeter at India's Bangalore airport, officials said.
The pilots of the plane, carrying 148 passengers and crew
from Delhi to Bangalore, did not realise the panel was missing
until the flight landed, The Times of India reported.
A photo on the newspaper's website showed a large opening in
the belly of the plane with components and aircraft structure
"It was the mid-underwing-to-body fairing located on the
belly of the airplane on the right side," said Boeing spokesman
Doug Alder. The part "provides a more aerodynamic surface in
Boeing and Air India said there was no risk to the safety of
An Air India spokesman said the panel had been sent for
examination and the Boeing spokesman said the planemaker was
working to understand what caused the panel to detach.
He declined to say whether the plane was made at Boeing's
South Carolina factory which has built a number of Air India's
The panel was replaced with one taken from another 787
Dreamliner, the Air India spokesman said. He said eight
Dreamliners operated by Air India are in service and a ninth
should start flying "anytime now".
"From the safety point of view, there is no hazard at all,"
the spokesman said. He said authorities were investigating the
Problems that have afflicted the 787 include battery
overheating that prompted regulators to ground the entire fleet
in January. Flights resumed in April.
Scandinavian operator Norwegian Air has also criticised the
Despite the problems, Boeing's stock has stayed near record
levels. It closed Tuesday at $118.18, down $1.28.