Lessons Learned From the Boeing 787 Incidents United States Government Printing Office Author
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The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Frank A. LoBiondo (Chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. Mr. LOBIONDO. Good morning. The hearing will come to order. Thank you all for being here. The top priority of the Aviation Sub-committee, as well as me, personally, is the safety of the flying public. Therefore, the subcommittee has closely monitored the ac-tions of the FAA, the NTSB, and Boeing, in response to the battery incidents that took place earlier this year. We have called this hearing to learn more about the FAA and Boeing's actions to get aircraft back to safe operation. As we all know, in January there were two separate incidents in-volving a lithium ion battery on Boeing 787 aircraft, one on the ground in Boston and the second in the air over Japan. After order-ing a review of all Boeing 787 critical systems, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency airworthiness directive that temporarily halted the operations of 787s. In the 5 months since the incidents, the FAA and Boeing have worked to develop a comprehensive solution to the battery issues, and have safely returned the 787 aircraft to service. As a key part of this process, the FAA and Boeing have taken a hard look at the certification of the 787. This review has focused on what worked, given that the safety of the aircraft itself was not compromised in either incident, and what needs or needed to be improved or ad-justed. Although the NTSB investigation is ongoing, and the board has not identified the exact cause of the battery failure, Boeing has been able to narrow the possible causes of this short circuit to four or five basic things that they think were the cause. Based on that information, Boeing developed a comprehensive solution that ad-dresses all of these possible causes. The solution presented to the FAA addresses issues at the battery cell, battery, and aircraft lev-els. In the end, a new battery design underwent over 200,000 engi-neering hours, and were then subject to a rigorous testing and FAA approval process.


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