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FAA: 787 Dreamliner is “safe” but launches joint review with Boeing

@denschaal

Jan 11, 2013 7:09 am

Skift Take

Defenders of the Dreamliner, who have argued that every new aircraft experiences similar problems in the early days, are clearly misguided, as the FAA review attests.

— Dennis Schaal

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LOT Polish Airlines took delivery of its first Dreamliner of eight ordered, in November 2012. Boeing


The FAA announced this morning it will conduct a joint review with Boeing into the 787 Dreamliner’s manufacturing processes and the bevy of incidents that have occurred since the FAA certified the aircraft and it was introduced into service around the world.

“I believe this aircraft is safe and what we are seeing are issues involved in bringing” any technologically advanced aircraft into service,” FAA administrator Michael Huerta said at a press conference with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Huerta said the review would be data-driven, and although he believes the aircraft is safe, the FAA would mandate any necessary changes.

The focus, Huerta said, would be what is happening with the aircraft post-certification and after it has been introduced into commercial service.

And, LaHood, too, said the DOT is committed to ensuring the safety of the aircraft.

If the FAA needs to take action, it will,” Huerta said.

Officials emphasized how important they believe the Dreamliner to be as a bellwether for the future of aviation.

Boeing issued a statement about the joint review and the recent incidents. Boeing stated, in part:

Regular reviews of program and technical progress are an important part of the validation and oversight process that has created today’s safe and efficient air transportation system. While the 787’s reliability is on par with the best in class, we have experienced in-service issues in recent months and we are never satisfied while there is room for improvement. For that reason, today we jointly announced with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the start of a review of the 787’s recent issues and critical systems.

 

Since its introduction, airlines flying the Dreamliner — including United Airlines and Japan Airlines, to name just two — have experienced a series of incidents, mostly tied to the plane’s electrical systems.

There were three incidents this week alone, with Japan Airlines cancelling flights within Japan and at Boston Logan, following brake issues and problems with the Dreamliner’s electrical systems.

Airlines around the world have been expressing concerns, and this all culminated with today’s press conference in Washington, D.C., with the announcement of a joint FAA-Boeing probe.

Here’s Boeing’s full statement about the FAA review:

Download (PDF, 63KB)

 

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