A team of U.S. safety investigators this week visited the Tucson, Arizona facility of Securaplane, a unit of Britain’s Meggitt Plc, where Leon worked before he was fired.
The company declined comment on the NTSB investigation, but spokeswoman Fiona Greig told Reuters in an email: “There is no connection between the Dreamliner battery issue and Michael Leon’s dismissal from Securaplane.”
Boeing says a two-year multi-agency investigation concluded that an explosion that sparked a huge fire that burned a three-story administrative building to the ground at the Securaplane facility in 2006 was caused by an improper test set-up, not the battery design.
The Senate Commerce, Technology and Transportation Committee said on Tuesday that it plans a hearing on aviation safety in coming weeks that will look closely at the Boeing 787 problems and the FAA’s certification process.
Representative Rick Larsen, who was appointed this week to be the top Democrat on the House Aviation Subcommittee, told Reuters his committee would probably look at the FAA’s certification issues as well.
Peter Knudson, spokesman for the NTSB, declined comment on any findings from the visit to Securaplane’s Tucson facility. He said the safety board collected information from a variety of sources during the course of any investigation. “We’re looking at everything that could have played some role in this battery mishap,” he told Reuters. “There’s a lot yet to learn.”