FAA approves 787 battery plan

March 12, 2013 at 5:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it approved Boeing's remedial plan for the redesigned 787 battery system, but it still must pass tests.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report March on the troubled Boeing 787 airliner lithium-ion battery.

The NSTB report drew no conclusions on the cause of the problem, but focused on a Jan. 7 incident aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8, when smoke was discovered by cleaning personnel in the aft cabin. The 787 was parked at a gate at Boston Logan International Airport.

A mechanic found smoke and flames coming from the airplane's lithium-ion auxiliary power unit battery in the aft electronic equipment bay. Aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel responded to the fire, which resulted in one minor injury to a firefighter, the NTSB said.

The FAA said it approved Boeing's plan certification "after thoroughly reviewing Boeing's proposed modifications and the company's plan to demonstrate the system will meet FAA requirements. The certification plan is the first step in the process to evaluate the 787's return to flight and requires Boeing to conduct extensive testing and analysis to demonstrate compliance with the applicable safety regulations and special conditions."

The certification plan requires a series of tests which must be passed before the 787 could return to service.

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