What can only be described as a series of unfortunate events (to borrow from Lemony Snicket) with prompted organizations dedicated to safety to launch investigations into the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s safety and potential for additional problems, as well as to ground 787s until its safety is proven.
While some problems are expected in the release of new design into service the quick succession of these problematic events has sparked concern. The rapid response and chain of events was impressive; safety agencies stepped up immediately. Among those launching investigations were: The Boeing Company, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and various other foreign and domestic regulatory and flight safety associations, including the Japan Transport Safety Board.
First to respond was the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an independent federal agency charged with investigating every civil aviation accident in the U.S. The FAA soon followed, issuing an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) requiring operators in the U.S. to cease operation of U.S.-registered Boeing 787 aircraft temporarily. U.S. airlines must demonstrate to the FAA that the 787 batteries are safe and no longer pose a potential battery fire risk before further flight is permitted. United Airlines currently is the only U.S. airline operating a Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.
The rest of the world took notice; well, they were already on notice, but they followed suit and grounded the 787. Officials at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Japanese Transport Ministry, and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in both India and Chile grounded all Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in their jurisdictions until the airliner’s safety can be confirmed.
This geek will keep you posted on the status of the Dreamliner as the investigation continues.