WASHINGTON Jan 8 The U.S. National
Transportation Safety Board said on Wednesday that investigative
work on a battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing
787 Dreamliner jet in January 2013 would be completed by the end
The agency gave no indications about the cause of the fire
and said its final report on the incident at Boston Logan
International Airport would be presented at a public meeting in
Washington in the fall.
Members of the investigative team have been working for
months in the United States, Japan, France, and Taiwan in their
study of the Dreamliner battery and charging system.
Regulators grounded the global fleet of Boeing Co
Dreamliners for 3-1/2 months after the Jan. 7, 2013, incident at
the Boston airport and a second battery incident on an All
Nippon Airways flight in Japan several days later that
prompted an emergency landing and evacuation.
The Boston fire was discovered by a mechanic who was
performing a routine post-flight inspection and was the only
person aboard at the time. Fire fighters responded and contained
Crew aboard the ANA flight reported smelling smoke, but the
incident was never officially ruled a fire.
The NTSB investigation only covers the Boston fire, though
the U.S. agency has assisted Japan's Transport Safety Board with
The Dreamliner, launched in 2004, offered saving fuel and
maintenance costs through use of lightweight materials and new
construction methods, including global outsourcing of its major
Assembly lags put the jet into service in 2011, more than
three years behind schedule. And it has been plagued by
problems, often involving its advanced electrical system.
United Airlines and Qatar Airways both had electrical
trouble on 787s before the Boston fire and another Japan
Airlines Dreamliner experienced fuel leaks.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration launched a
wide-ranging review of the 787's design, manufacturing and
assembly after the Boston fire.
Meanwhile, Boeing overhauled the battery system, adding a
steel box to contain any future fires and a venting system to
expel fumes outside the jet.
In April, the FAA approved the revamped battery system and
Boeing began making repairs to the 50 787s around the world.
Since then, the global fleet has grown to 100, as Boeing has
stepped up deliveries to customers.