February 11, 2013
Credit: GE Aviation
Three weeks after the Boeing 787 fleet was grounded, a newly painted aircraft destined eventually for China Southern Airlines was flown on Feb. 7 without incident from Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas to Boeing's Everett, Wash, site. Authority for the ferry flight, which was conducted under a special-flight permit, was conditioned on the crew performing preflight inspections of batteries and cables for signs of damage, a mandatory check for battery status on the engine indicating and crew-altering system before takeoff, and continuous monitoring for battery-related messages during the flight itself. The flight began as the NTSB revealed that it has pinpointed the source, but not yet the cause, of the fire the engulfed the auxiliary power unit battery of a Japan Airlines-operated 787 at Boston on Jan 7 (see page 38).