NTSB releases agenda for hearing on Boeing 787

More than a dozen witnesses will be questioned next week at an investigative hearing on the Jan. 7 battery fire on a Boeing Co. 787.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Friday released the agenda for the hearing the agency is hosting April 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C. The hearing will be webcast live on the NTSB’s website.

The NTSB has been investigating the Jan. 7 fire and smoke incident involving a lithium-ion battery on a 787 parked at Boston’s Logan International Airport. That 787 was operated by Japan Airlines.

Following a second battery failure on a 787, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the 787 on Jan. 16.

The FAA is expected to give the OK as early as today for 787s, equipped with a redesigned battery system, to return to passenger service. Yesterday, the FAA began allowing Boeing to make pre-delivery flights with 787s that already have the new battery system installed.

The NTSB has yet to determine the cause of the Jan. 7 battery failure. Last week, the agency held a two-day forum on the use of lithium-ion batteries in transportation.

At least six witnesses from Boeing will be on hand at next week’s hearing. Representatives from the FAA and battery maker GS Yuasa also will be on hand.

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