United States to review Boeing 787, but calls plane safe
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is conducting a comprehensive review of the design, manufacture and assembly of the Boeing 787, even while government officials declared the plane safe despite recent incidents including a fire and a fuel leak earlier this week.
Michael Huerta, the FAA administrator, said at a news conference on Friday there is nothing in the data the agency has seen to suggest the plane is not safe, but the agency wants to figure out why the safety-related incidents are occurring.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood went a step further: "I believe this plane is safe and I would have absolutely no reservations about boarding one of these planes and taking a flight," he said.
The 787, which Boeing calls the "Dreamliner," is the aircraft maker's newest and most technologically advanced airliner. It relies more than any other modern airliner on electrical signals to help power nearly everything the plane does. It is also the first Boeing plane to use rechargeable lithium ion batteries, which charge faster and can be molded to space-saving shapes compared to other airplane batteries. The plane is made with lightweight composite materials instead of aluminum.