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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NTSB 787 Dreamliner Investigation Gets Microscopic

NTSB investigator Joseph Panagiotou examines a battery
cell from the JAL B-787 with a stereo microscope.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said its investigators are now conducting microscopic examinations of the damaged battery from the Jan. 7 fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

The investigative work by experts in Japan and the United States has now entered its fourth week, with officials still unable to say what caused the battery fire on the JAL 787 and a separate incident that forced another 787 to make an emergency landing in Japan. NTSB said the examination will include mechanical and electrical tests to determine the performance of the battery and reveal signs of any degradation in performance.

All 50 in-service Dreamliners operated by carriers around the world remain grounded as the investigation continues. Officials from NTSB and FAA still have not provided a possible timetable for when the grounded 787s can return to commercial service.

“Our first order of business for 2013 is to resolve the battery issue on the 787 and return the airplanes safely to service with our customers,” said Boeing CEO Jim McNerney in a statement Wednesday.

Boeing is continuing production of the 787, but has suspended deliveries of the plane until FAA lifts the airworthiness directive issued on Jan. 16 to cease operations. More

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