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Boeing issues 747-8, Dreamliner engine icing advisory to airlines

By David Simpson, CNN
updated 9:10 PM EST, Sat November 23, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Boeing says some GE engines need fix for icing
  • Caution to avoid storms applies to some 747-8 planes as well as 787 Dreamliners
  • The Dreamliner is Boeing's latest high-tech, fuel-efficient airliner

(CNN) -- Boeing has warned airlines to keep some 747-8 and 787 aircraft away from certain storms because of possible icing problems in engines.

The aircraft manufacturer sent a message to "customers who operate some GE-powered engines after instances of ice crystal icing that resulted in temporary diminished engine performance," spokesman Marc Birtel said in a statement.

Boeing said pilots should keep the planes at least 50 nautical miles from storms that may contain ice crystals until General Electric can make improvements to the "GEnx" engines.

Only a small number of the engines have had a problem with ice crystals, the statement said.

Boeing began delivering its 787 Dreamliners in 2011. The model is billed as a super-efficient, high-technology airliner of the future, and it flew without major problems for a year.

But a battery fire forced the diversion of an All Nippon Airways flight in January 2013. The entire fleet of 50 planes was grounded for four months while Boeing made repairs.

Later, a United Airlines Dreamliner made an emergency landing in Houston with brake problems and a fire broke out on an unoccupied Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner in London. There also have been investigations into a faulty fuel pump indicator, an electric panel, a plane oven and emergency beacons.

CNN's Tory Dunnan and Mike Ahlers contributed to this report

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