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Feb. 9, 2013 at 10:11 PM   |   Comments

Dreamliner undergoes test flight

SEATTLE, W.Va., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Boeing put one of its troubled 787 Dreamliners through a 900-mile test flight over the U.S. West Saturday as it tries to pinpoint a battery fire-hazard problem.

The aircraft took off from Seattle and flew eastward before looping to the south and returning to its starting point more than 2 hours later, The New York Times reported.

It was the first flight of a 787 since the Federal Aviation Administration gave the aircraft manufacturer permission Thursday to conduct in-flight tests, the newspaper noted. The goal is to find out why the new plane's lithium-ion batteries catch fire and come up with a fix.

Boeing spokesman Marc R. Birtel said the crew included 13 pilots and test personnel. Special equipment was used to check status messages involving the batteries and their chargers, and monitor battery temperature and voltage.

Birtel described the flight, which reached 36,000 feet and speeds from 435 to 626 miles per hour, as uneventful.

All of Boeing's 50 operational 787s were grounded after a battery on one caught fire at a Boston airport Jan. 7 and another made an emergency landing in Japan after a battery started smoking.

Birtel said further test flights are expected early this coming week. The Times said battery experts predict it could take weeks for the problem to be solved.


5 die in Belgium plane crash

BRUSSELS, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A small airplane crashed at an airport near Brussels Saturday, killing all five members of a family on board, authorities said.

The Cessna went down at Charleroi airport when it developed a problem during takeoff and tried to return, a source told the Belgian newspaper De Standaard.

The Flandersnews.be news website reported the victims were members of one family -- a grandfather, his daughter-in-law and three grandchildren ages 7, 6 and 3, RIA Novosti said.

The cause of the crash had not been determined.

De Standaard said the crash forced the cancellation of five flights and delayed 16 others.


5 die in Georgia head-on crash

LAGRANGE, Ga., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Five people from LaGrange, Ga., were killed and two others critically injured in a head-on crash, the state patrol said Saturday.

The victims of the 6:40 p.m. Friday collision on West Point Road in Troup County were identified Willie L. Hooks, 28, Melanie Kay Lemmon, 23, Miranda Hurston, 37, Hurston's 16-year-old son Tridarius Harrison and her grandson Quamauri C. Harrison, 1, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported

The drivers were Hooks and Lemmon, the newspaper said.

Police said Hooks, who was alone in his car, was trying to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone when his car collided with Lemmon's car.

The injured passengers were identified as Jayvianna C. Hurston, 15, and Shaquavious S. Harrison, 18.

Police suspected alcohol was a contributing factor to the crash and took a blood sample from Hooks, the newspaper said.


Boy, 14, charged with killing baby sister

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A 14-year-old Maryland boy has been charged with beating and suffocating his 7-month-old sister, authorities said Saturday.

Montgomery County police said the Silver Spring teenager, identified as Johnathan Aguiluc, is charged as an adult with first-degree murder and was jailed without bond, The Washington Post reported.

Aguiluc was arrested after paramedics were called to an apartment early Friday and found the infant, identified as Larissa Yanes, unresponsive. The child was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead at 6:54 a.m.

Investigators said the 39-year-old mother of the teenage boy and infant girl, Gloria Yanes, was at work when the alleged fatal beating took place, the Post said.

Yanes arrived home at 5:30 a.m. Friday and at first thought her daughter was sleeping, but found her unresponsive when she tried to wake her and called for help, police said.

Detectives said Aguiluc admitted beating his sister and then covering her mouth and nose with his hands when she wouldn't stop crying.

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