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Monday, June 10, 2013

Congressional Hearing to Examine 'Lessons Learned from Boeing 787 Incidents'

By Woodrow Bellamy III

The House Subcommittee on Aviation has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to examine the lessons learned from the Boeing 787 incidents earlier this year. 
 
 
(Japan Airlines, along with other carriers, grounded their 787s in January following incidents on commercial flights with the aircraft. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.)
 
The hearing will re-examine what lead to the grounding of the worldwide fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners in January and provide recommendations for avoiding similar situations in the future. Margaret Gilligan, associate administrator for aviation safety at FAA, and Mike Sinnett, chief engineer for the Boeing 787 program will serve as witnesses at the hearing Wednesday.
 
In January, FAA issued an emergency order grounding all in-service Boeing 787s, and began working with the manufacturer and air carriers to develop a corrective plan of action and resume operations for the 787. FAA then approved Boeing's redesigned lithium ion battery system in April, clearing the way for airlines to return the aircraft to service recently. 
 
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure closely monitored all actions taken by FAA and Boeing following the grounding, and plans on discussing the "lessons learned" by these actions on Wednesday. 
 
"While the multi-tiered supplier dynamic is not new to the Boeing 787, the FAA has determined that it needs to spend more time improving communication horizontally and vertically to ensure a clear traceability of all required changes down the supplier chain and to ensure that all instructions are clearly communicated along the chain," the aviation subcommittee said in a statement regarding the upcoming hearing. 

Related: Aviation Today's Checklist

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