FAA expects staff recommendation on 787 next week

WASHINGTON — Experts at the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to say next week whether they recommend accepting the Boeing Co.’s plan to fix 787 Dreamliners so the planes can resume flying, the agency head said Wednesday.

Officials in the FAA office in Renton that certifies new planes as safe for flight are reviewing a Boeing proposal to revamp the 787’s lithium ion batteries to prevent them from catching fire, or to protect the plane in case of fire, Administrator Michael Huerta said.

Huerta declined to say when he might decide whether to accept the plan or how long it might be before the planes are back in the air.

Boeing officials presented the plan to Huerta last week.

The planes have been grounded since Jan. 16 after a battery caught fire in a 787 parked at Boston’s Logan International Airport and a smoking battery in a different 787 forced an emergency landing in Japan.

Calling the plan “very comprehensive,” Huerta said Boeing engineers worked with outside experts to narrow the potential causes of the incidents to a few possibilities, and then redesigned the batteries. The 787 has two identical 32-volt batteries, each with eight cells.

Investigators have said the incidents began with short-circuiting in a single cell, leading to a chemical reaction that causes progressively hotter temperatures. That spread the short-circuiting and fire to other cells.

Boeing’s plan includes redesigning the batteries to prevent individual cells from catching fire, Huerta said. Should that fail, the plan includes steps to prevent a fire from spreading to other cells or outside the box that contains all eight of the cells.

“What Boeing has assembled is a team to look at the universe of potential causes, and their proposal is to mitigate all of them,” Huerta said.

If the plan is approved, the next step would be extensive engineering and testing before any final determination could be made on resuming flights, he said. He described the process as “effectively a certification plan.”

“We have to be assured that this is a good plan and that it is going to result in a safe situation,” Huerta said.

More in Herald Business Journal

Boeing marks the start of 777X production at Paine Field

It took tax breaks and union concessions to land assembly of the company’s new jetliner in Everett.

Amazon says it received 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Forty-three U.S. states, D.C., Puerto Rico, three Mexican states and six Canadian provinces want HQ2.

Amazon leases a southwest Everett warehouse for deliveries

The Seaway Center building is not as big as one of the company’s more typical fulfillment centers.

Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

David Russian, CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, writes our third essay about fixing health care.

JCPenney partners with EvCC, WSU to assist students

Earlier this month, JCPenney partnered with the Career Service Centers at Everett… Continue reading

Re/Max Elite adds two agents in Lynnwood

Jenelle Dent and Lori DaSilva have joined Re/Max Elite as agents at… Continue reading

Register for Marysville Tulalip Business Before Hours event

The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce holds its next Business Before… Continue reading

Wells Fargo donates $2,500 to Edmonds Center for the Arts

Edmonds Center for the Arts has received a grant of $2,500 from… Continue reading

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Most Read