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February 07, 2013

Boeing 787 takes off from Meacham on FAA-approved flight to Seattle


787 at Meacham


A newly-painted Boeing 787 Dreamliner took off from Fort Worth's Meacham Airport this morning, headed back to Boeing facilities in Everett, Wash.

The FAA, which grounded all 787s after a lithium ion battery started on fire in Boston, gave Boeing special permission for this one ferry flight, with only a crew aboard, as the manufacturer tries to find the cause of the fires.

The plane was being painted at Meacham by Leading Edge Aviation Services, which won the contract to paint all of the 787s. This one has been painted for China Southern Airlines, according to the New York Times.

In Washington today, the nation’s top accident investigator said the government should reassess its safety approval of the plane's batteries, The Associted Press reported.

"National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said the board’s investigation of last month’s battery fire in a Japan Airlines 787 while it was parked in Boston shows the fire started with multiple short-circuits in one of the battery’s eight cells. That created an uncontrolled chemical reaction known as “thermal runaway” and spread to the rest of the cells, she said.

That’s at odds with what Boeing told the Federal Aviation Administration when the agency was working to certify the innovative aircraft for flight, Hersman said. The manufacturer asserted its testing showed that any short circuiting could be contained within a single cell, preventing thermal runaway and fire, she said. "

-- Steve Kaskovich


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