Boeing ferried ZA004 back from Boeing Field to Everett on Nov 21, and is now planning to return ZA002 to Seattle from Laredo, Texas where it has been grounded since the in-flight fire incident of Nov 9.
Boeing sources say no firm date has yet been determined for the ferry which will be the longest duration of any 787 flight since the fire event, including the ferry flight of ZA005 which returned to Boeing’s headquarters from Victorville, Calif., on Nov 16.
ZA001 has meanwhile joined ZA004 in long-term layup and maintenance.
According to those on the spot air traffic control in Everett, tower asked the crew of ZA004 if the flight test program was back on track, after a long pause the 004 crew responded "Well uh, well we can say we're back up."
To paraphrase a proverb of Erasmus, just as a single swallow does not make a summer, unfortunately neither does a single flying 787 signify the restart of a flight test program.
For the sake of the industry let’s hope the latest delays do not mean the swallows do not re-appear before the 787s in the skies over Seattle.
ZA004 touches down at Everett on Nov 21 after its short flight from Boeing Field. (Liz Matzelle)