NTSB says no cause found yet for Boeing 787 battery fireon January 24, 2013 @ 12:06 pm (Updated: 5:03 pm - 1/24/13 )
At a news briefing in Washington, D.C. Thursday updating the progress of their investigation, NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman called the incident "a very serious air safety concern."
Hersman said investigators have found signs of fire, short circuiting and what is called "thermal runaway" or overcharging of the lithium ion batteries in their initial probe of the fire that caused an emergency evacuation at Boston's Logan Airport Jan. 7.
But Hersman said there are no definitive signs yet of a cause. Investigators from the NTSB, Boeing, the FAA and Japan's aviation authority are all taking part in the investigation of that fire, and another incident involving an ANA Dreamliner that caused an emergency landing. She said they are "very early" in their investigation.
"We have to understand why this battery led to fire when there were so many protections," Hersman said.
Hersman said while the NTSB is investigating the cause, it will ultimately be up to the FAA and aviation officials around the world to determine when the 787 can safely return to service. Analysts say it's likely the fleet of 50 will remain grounded for the foreseeable future.
"We do not expect to see fire events on an airplane. This is a very serious air safety event," Hersman said.
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