Possible engine icing is latest 787 Dreamliner problem

Possible engine icing is latest 787 Dreamliner problem
All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 planes sit on a tarmac at Haneda Airport in Tokyo Friday, April 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Boeing is alerting airlines about possible engine icing problems on some of its new planes, including the 787 Dreamliner.

The company is recommending that planes with a specific General Electric engine avoid flying near thunderstorms that might contain ice crystals.

Boeing says it issued the advisory after ice crystal formation in some instances diminished engine performance. Airlines with planes affected include United, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa and Air India. Models affected are the 747-8 and the 787, which Boeing Co. calls the Dreamliner.

Boeing recommended that affected planes fly at least 50 nautical miles from thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals.

The advisory covers Boeing planes with General Electric Co.'s GEnx engine. In its statement, Boeing said that GE is "working diligently" to deal with the issue and that corrective changes "will be introduced into the fleet as soon as they are available."

It's the latest problem to confront the 787. Earlier this year, air safety authorities grounded the 787 after two planes suffered from smoldering batteries. Flights resumed after Boeing redesigned the battery system.

Other problems have included an anternna snafu, an overheating emergency location transmitter and problem wiring for a system to put out engine fires.

Norwegian Air Shuttle also grounded its 787s earlier this year due to an unspecified "technical problem," and an airline spokesperson said the jetliner "has not been reliable enough."