Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ZA002 news

There is not too much to add though unsurprisingly Boeing has decided to suspend 787 test flights until they find the root cause of thee fire and implement a fix. How long and what impact that will have is unknown but data from the airplane has been sent to Seattle for analysis.

I anticipate that they would be able to narrow down the cause of the fire in a fairly short amount of time but we shall see. Flightblogger posted that all test flights are off until Thursday at the earliest and the test flight airplanes will conduct ground tests. Guy Norris also put up a detailed post about the disposition of the test flight fleet and what ground tests they will be conducting. Lastly, Dominic Gates has an excellent recap of yesterday's events.

Boeing was in midst of aggressively test flying the 787s over the past month and was on track to post high utilization rate of the test flight fleet as well as posting higher flight test hours month over month. This incident no doubt slows them down.

Boeing spokesperson, Lori Gunter sent out the following release, what is interesting is that the aircraft did not lose primary flight display:

In regards to requests for additional information regarding the incident on
ZA002 in Laredo, TX, today, Boeing can confirm the following:

* ZA002 departed from Yuma, AZ, bound for Laredo, TX. - 42 crew members were
on board the airplane in support of the flight test program.
* One minor injury occurred during the evacuation. That crew member has since cleared medical approval and has left the medical facilities.
* During the flight from Yuma, the crew was conducting a test to monitor the efficiency of the Nitrogen Generation System. - During the event, the crew was collecting system performance data and no additional testing was being performed.
* Contrary to some reports, the pilot did not lose primary flight displays.
* Data from the airplane is being transported from Texas to Seattle so that our experts can understand what happened prior to, during and after the event. This will take some time to accomplish. Until that is completed, we cannot offer further information regarding the event.

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