NTSB Testimony to the US Senate on safety, 787; FAA reviewing ETOPS

The Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board testified today before the US Senate. The 11-page testimony is here.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of the Commerce Committee had this to say. This news article contains this:

The testimony, however, comes amid growing frustration and concern expressed by some senior Boeing officials about what they contend is the FAA’s drawn-out decision-making process. Procedures for conducting ground and airborne tests of the redesigned batteries–as well as detailed criteria for determining their success–were agreed on by Boeing and the FAA before testing started.

We believe the FAA won’t approve anything until after the NTSB hearing April 23-24 on the Japan Air Lines incident, not based on anything we know but simply an assessment of the politics involved.

Testimony by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta has not as yet been posted on the FAA website.

Flight Global reports that the FAA testimony revealed the agency is reviewing the 787′s ETOPS, confirming a story Reuters had last month (and which Boeing dismissed as speculation).

Reuters has this story today on Huerta’s comments. It sounds like he meant to say 180 minutes will be OK, but nothing beyond that at this time.

FAA launches 787 system review

The Federal Aviation Administration today launched a review of the Boeing 787′s electrical system.

We start our coverage with a running synopsis of the press conference at 9:30am ET. Presenting are

Michael Huerta, director of the FAA (MH);

Ray LaHood, US Transportation Secretary (RLH); and

Ray Conner, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (RC).

RLH:

  • #1 priority is protecting the safety of the traveling public.
  • We go the extra mile when it comes to safety.
  • Today we are conducting a comprehensive review of the design and production of the 787, covering critical systems of the aircraft, including design, production and assembly.
  • Will look for the root causes of the recent issues be sure it doesn’t happen again.
  • FAA spent 200,000 hrs in advance of certifying aircraft.

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