U.S. Senate committee to hear update on Boeing 787 investigation

By Matt Tomsic
Published April 3, 2013

A U.S. Senate committee is hosting a hearing to discuss ongoing investigations into battery issues aboard the Boeing 787.

The Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has scheduled the hearing for April 16, when the committee will also hear about the Federal Aviation Administration’s efforts to implement safety provisions in FAA authorizations.

The committee will receive testimony from Michael Huerta, administrator of the FAA; Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board; Gerald Dillingham, director of civil aviation issues for the Government Accountability Office; and Jeffery Guzzetti, assistant inspector general for the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

In March, the FAA approved the redesign of Boeing’s battery system, and the NTSB released more details about the battery issues that led to the airplane’s grounding.

The 787 Dreamliner has been grounded since a battery caught fire at Boston’s Logan International Airport in January and a second incident forced an emergency landing about a week later in Japan.

The Boston fire began in cell six of the auxiliary power unit battery aboard a Japan Airlines 787, according to the NTSB. The cell short-circuited and a thermal runaway, or uncontrolled increase in heat, followed and spread to the other cells.

The second incident happened on an All Nippon Airways 787 in Japan. Japanese regulators are leading that investigation, and the battery incident forced the airplane’s emergency landing.

Reach Matt Tomsic at 843-849-3144.

Previous coverage

Boeing completes functional test flight
FAA approves battery redesign for 787
NTSB report releases new details in Boeing battery fire

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