News / USA

Dreamliner Probe Results 'Weeks Away,' NTSB Chief Says

FILE - Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, carrying the first major assembly for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Everett, Washington, after the plane's arrival from Italy, April 24, 2007.FILE - Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, carrying the first major assembly for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Everett, Washington, after the plane's arrival from Italy, April 24, 2007.
x
FILE - Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, carrying the first major assembly for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Everett, Washington, after the plane's arrival from Italy, April 24, 2007.
FILE - Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, carrying the first major assembly for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Everett, Washington, after the plane's arrival from Italy, April 24, 2007.
Reuters
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is "probably weeks away" from completing its probe into battery problems on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and will share its latest information about the jet on Thursday, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said.

"We will talk about special conditions that were put into effect at the time when the Dreamliner was certified,'' Hersman told reporters at a Wednesday breakfast briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

All 50 Dreamliners in service have been grounded since Jan. 16 while the NTSB, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation regulators around the world investigate the battery failures that included one fire. No root cause has been identified.
       
Fire risk on planes has always been a major concern, especially given the amount of fuel they carry and the heat generated by jet engines. U.S. aviation standards require planes to have numerous on-board fire-suppression systems.
       
The FAA in 2007 granted the Dreamliner special conditions and said its contain-and-vent system was sufficient to control the build-up of explosive or toxic gases, except in situations considered "extremely remote.''
       
That decision has come under scrutiny after the lithium-ion batteries in two 787 planes failed within days of each other, sparking a fire in one jet in Boston and generating warnings and an acrid smell that prompted the pilots of the second plane to make an emergency landing in Japan.
       
The NTSB is conducting the U.S. probe with help from Boeing, battery-maker GS Yuasa Corp of Japan, the FAA and battery experts from other U.S. federal agencies, but none of the agencies have yet identified what caused the battery failures on the 250-passenger airliner.
       
Boeing this week asked the FAA for permission to conduct test flights of the 787, suggesting it is making progress in finding a solution to the battery problems, but the government agency has not yet announced a decision.
       
"In essence what happens when an aircraft is certified, it basically gets locked into the standards that are in existence at the time. So the question ... is whether or not as time goes on through the life of the aircraft, do they fly with new standards,'' Hersman said.
       
Hersman declined to comment on a report that she was the White House's top choice to be the next transportation secretary, saying she was focused on her current job.
       
Hersman said the NTSB has been looking at the risks of lithium-ion batteries for some time and has recommended strategies to reduce potential hazards.
       
She said that there will always be advances in technology, but the safety side of that is "to make sure you've done the right risk assessment, that you understand what the failure modes are and that you've mitigated any potential risks."
       
"I would not want to categorically say that these batteries are not safe. Any new technology, any new design, there are going to be some inherent risks. The important thing is to mitigate them,'' she said.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid