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Thu, Feb 07, 2013

FAA Allowing Dreamliner Ferry Flight

Not For Testing, Airplane To Be Repositioned From Fort Worth To Seattle

The FAA has approved a one-time ferry flight one of Boeing's Dreamliners, but no passengers will be on board.

The flight, which will reposition one of the airplanes from Boeing's paint facility in Fort Worth, TX back to Renton, WA today (Thursday) will be the first since all of the airplanes were grounded due to a series of incidents with the electrical system on the plane. The New York Times reports that the FAA has not yet given the go-ahead for test flights with the airplane to see if the issues with the batteries have been resolved.

NTSB chair Deborah Hersman plans to make a statement Thursday morning concerning the board's progress in the battery investigation. In a session with reporters Wednesday, Hersman said that the board is likely to examine the FAA's certification process for the lithium-ion batteries installed aboard the Dreamliner. She said that the investigation will likely go on for "several more weeks" before there is any definitive determination about why the batteries overheated, with one catching fire aboard a JAL Dreamliner as it sat at a gate at Boston Logan International Airport last month

After that cause is determined, it is expected that testing and approval of new systems for the Dreamliner could take months, as Boeing's engineers are reportedly working on several potential fixes for the problem.

(Top image courtesy Boeing, Lower image courtesy NTSB)

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.ntsb.gov, www.boeing.com


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