Boeing will be allowed to conduct a one-time ferry flight of a grounded 787 Dreamliner from Texas to Washington state Thursday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday.
The FAA said the plane would have a minimal crew, which would have to continuously monitor the battery's status and land immediately if the flight computer displayed any battery-related messages. Regulators grounded the 787 on Jan. 16 after a series of incidents with the plane's batteries.
The plane will fly directly to Boeing’s widebody-jet plant in Everett, Wash., just north of Seattle, from Fort Worth, where it was being painted for China Southern Airlines, Bloomberg reports.
Investigators are still “weeks away” from determining what caused battery failures on the 787, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.
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“While our work to determine the cause of the recent battery incidents continues in coordination with appropriate regulatory authorities and investigation agencies, we are confident - as is the FAA - that the 787 is safe to operate for this activity,” Marc Birtel, a spokesman at Boeing’s commercial headquarters in Seattle, told Bloomberg. “Safety of the crew on board is our top priority.”