FAA Warns of 787 Dreamliner Glitch That Could Cause ‘Loss of Control’

By Paul Riegler on 1 May 2015
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A Boeing 787 Dreamliner

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The high-tech Boeing Dreamliner can’t seem to escape the limelight.  On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning about the Dreamliner’s computer system, saying a software glitch could cause a total loss of electrical power that would endanger an aircraft in flight and “result in loss of control of the airplane.”

Boeing discovered the issue in laboratory testing and reported it to the FAA, which issued an airworthiness directive on Friday.

The problem, the FAA said, can occur after a Dreamliner remains connected to onboard or ground-based electric power without a break for a period of 248 consecutive days. As a result, the agency is ordering airlines operating the plane to periodically shut down the plane’s power systems.  Doing so, it said, will alleviate the hazard.

Boeing originally told airlines operating the plane that it would experience most of its reliability problems shortly after being powered on.  As a result, many airlines leave the aircraft powered over unusually strong stretches of time to avoid any glitches.

Currently, 258 787 Dreamliners are in use by airlines and more than 800 are scheduled for future delivery.

The Dreamliner last made headlines in January 2013, after two aircraft experienced smoke or fire emergencies traced back to its advanced lithium batteries.  The planes were grounded for several months while design changes were made to the batteries and their containers.

The current problem is unrelated to the battery issue.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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