The National Transportation Safety Board will lead its investigation in Cincinnati, where the Boeing Co., General Electric and the NTSB will disassemble and examine an engine that failed during a 787 ground test in North Charleston. The engine should arrive in Cincinnati tonight.
Published Aug. 1, 2012
The National Transportation Safety Board has officially opened an investigation into a Boeing 787 engine malfunction in North Charleston, the safety board announced Tuesday.
A GEnx engine, like this one affixed to the first Dreamliner to roll out of Boeing’s North Charleston facility, malfunctioned during a ground test of a different Dreamliner. (Photo/Andy Owens/File)
On Saturday, an engine failed on the second Lowcountry-built 787 during a taxi test. Debris flew from the back of the engine and started a small grass fire next to the runway. No one was injured.
The transportation safety board sent an aviation investigator with expertise in aircraft powerplants to North Charleston to collect information about the engine failure.
“We’re focused on the back end of the engine,” said Rick Kennedy Monday, a spokesman with GE Aviation, adding the exact cause of the malfunction isn’t known. “We are very confident we know the area where this issue was caused.”
Kennedy said the GEnx engine involved in the accident should arrive in Cincinnati tonight, and GE chartered a flight from Charleston to deliver engine components to Cincinnati.
“Consistent with what we have said this week, we continually monitor and analyze the GEnx fleet in service (80 engines), and we are not aware of operational issues that would affect the continued safe flight of aircraft powered by these engines,” Kennedy said today in an email. “The GEnx engine fleet in service has accumulated more than 125,000 flight hours with outstanding reliability.”