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Jan 17, 2013

FAA grounds 787 Dreamliners

The history of the certification of the 787 by the FAA shows that Boeing received certain exemptions from the agency for the use of a type of lithium ion battery, and that it persuaded that agency that a fire such as the one that occurred in a Japan Airlines 787 on the ground at Boston on 7 January was impossible given the design of the jet.

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Inside the Qatar 787 which isn't about to fly Doha-Perth: PR photo

Less than a week after holding a PR stunt with Boeing to say how safe 787s were the Dreamliners  have been grounded by the US Federal Aviation Administration until they are proven to be safe to fly.

Coming from the agency that certified the airliner type as safe, this is both serious and embarrassing.

The FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive to deal with a potential battery fire risk before the 787 is allowed to fly again.

The history of the certification of the 787 by the FAA shows that Boeing received certain exemptions from the agency for the use of a type of lithium ion battery, and that it persuaded that agency that a fire such as the one that occurred in a Japan Airlines 787 on the ground at Boston on 7 January was impossible given the design of the jet.

Qantas has 15 of the initial Dreamliner model, the 787-8, on order for delivery from later this year for use by Jetstar, and holds options for a further 35 of the improved and higher capacity 787-9 for delivery from 2016 for use by Qantas itself.

The first scheduled service to Australia by a 787 was due to be inaugurated on 1 February between Doha and Perth by Qatar Airways.  Although nothing official has been said by Qatar as yet, it yesterday began cancelling others of its scheduled 787 services.

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