Federal aviation agency to review the Dreamliner

Staff Report
Published Jan. 14, 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing the design, manufacture and assembly of the 787 Dreamliner following a week of mishaps on Boeing’s newest jet, the federal agency announced Friday.

“The safety of the traveling public is our top priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This review will help us look at the root causes and do everything we can to safeguard against similar events in the future.”

Previous coverage

NTSB releases details on Monday’s 787 fire

The FAA and the Boeing Co. will conduct the review jointly with a team of engineers and inspectors, who will study the airplane’s critical systems with an emphasis on the aircraft’s electrical power and distribution systems. The review will also examine the interaction between electrical and mechanical systems.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said the review will underscore confidence in the “reliability, safety and performance” of the 787.

“We also stand 100% behind the integrity of the 787 and the rigorous process that led to its successful certification and entry into service,” McNerney said.

A separate Boeing statement referenced the 50,000 hours of flight and more than 150 daily flights on 787s. The airplane is also performing similar to the introduction of the 777, according to the aerospace giant.

The review follows a week that included a fire and a fuel leak aboard 787s.

At Logan International Airport in Boston, a fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner on Jan. 7 severely damaged one of the airplane’s batteries, according to investigators.

After passengers and crew disembarked, maintenance and cleaning personnel found smoke in the cabin and called firefighters, who put out the fire about 40 minutes after arriving on scene. One firefighter had minor injuries, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Boeing employees in Washington state assembled the 787 damaged by the fire.

Boeing also reported a second Dreamliner incident at Logan International Airport Jan. 8 that was unrelated to the fire the day before.

Richard Walsh, a spokesman at the airport, said the Japan Airlines Dreamliner was taxiing for departure about 12:25 p.m., when it began leaking fuel from its left side.

Walsh said about 40 gallons fell onto the runway, and the 787 was towed back to the gate. Passengers left the plane, which was inspected and cleared. The 787 left Boston about 4 p.m. for its trip to Tokyo.

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