The authority will “soon” recommend to the carrier, the world’s second-largest operator of the 787s, to avoid flying the jets within 50 nautical miles (93 kilometers) of thunderstorms, Kentaro Fujibayashi, a deputy director in the bureau, said by telephone today. Nippon Cargo Airlines Co. will also be told to avoid flying 747-8s with GE engines near thunderstorms, he said.
Japan’s move comes after U.S. regulators this week ordered aircraft with GEnx engines to fly clear of high-altitude icing conditions that could sap thrust and damage the engines. JAL last week said it will replace 787 Dreamliners on two routes to avoid delays or cancellation of flights because of the weather.
There have been six cases since April of planes with GEnx engines temporarily losing thrust in high-altitude icing conditions, five on 747-8s and one with a 787, according to an e-mailed statement from GE on Nov. 23.
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