For the first time in four decades, U.S. regulators grounded a major airliner. Boeing’s new advanced technology 787 Dreamliner flagship aircraft was grounded after experiencing several problems, the most recent being battery malfunctions. This may affect the public’s confidence in the Dreamliner and hurt Boeing’s future sales.
In the most recent incident with the aircraft, an overheated battery prompted an All Nippon Airways (ANL) flight to make an emergency landing in western Japan. Pilots detected a burning smell and a cockpit message indicated a battery problem. That’s when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made the determination to temporarily ground all domestic 787s.
United Airlines is the only domestic carrier affected. They own 6 of Boeing’s 787s. Other airlines around the world made the same determination as the FAA and temporarily grounded the aircraft, while Boeing halted deliveries.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has been forced to widen its investigation after excess voltage as the cause of the battery fire during a separate incident was ruled out. The investigation will continue as the attention now turns to the Arizona-based manufacturer of the battery’s charger.
While no one has been injured during any of the aircraft malfunctions, the 787 has been plagued by numerous electrical and battery issues, including the incident already mentioned where a fire broke out after a battery overheated. Luckily, passengers had already left the plane.
Before the aircraft was grounded, U.S. regulators expressed total confidence in the safety of the 787. A statement on Boeing’s website regarding the FAA’s action expresses the same confidence.
“We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the traveling public of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.”
Confident or not, the fact of the matter is the aircraft was grounded due to ongoing safety issues. While we are always striving to improve our technology and manufacture the products of the future, it does not come without a cost.
At Boudreau & Nisivaco , we understand how hard it can be when people suffer the consequences of defective products . In Boeing’s case, no one was injured, but the potential was there had the FAA not stepped in to regulate aircraft usage. Consumers have a right to believe that they are boarding a safe aircraft when they fly.
If you or someone you know has been injured during the proper use of a product because it was not designed and/or built safely, contact Boudreau & Nisivaco today for a free consultation. Our attorneys can also offer their expertise in aviation accidents , both commercial and private.