FAA grounds Boeing 787 flights until battery issues resolved - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

FAA grounds Boeing 787 flights until battery issues resolved

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded all 787s until the Lithium Ion batteries can be fully investigated.

Safety questions began plaguing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner last week, after emergency landings forced the company's biggest overseas customers to ground its planes.

The result was a notable hit to the company's stock prices. 

Mary Schiavo, an aviation attorney and expert, said what Boeing is facing is fairly serious. She said it's typical to have kinks on a new model plane, but to have the same incident twice in separate locations is a sign of trouble. 

Just this week, airline officials said a battery warning and smell of smoke forced a 787 to land in western Japan.

The same thing happened last week at Boston's Logan Airport, where it took firefighters 40 minutes to put out the blaze.

"They've had the same thing go wrong twice," said Schiavo. "Smoke in a plane, vapors and fumes in a cockpit or in a cabin, that happens about once a week. It happens a lot. But, it doesn't happen to the same model of aircraft in the same component repeatedly."

Although Federal Aviation Administration officials are investigating the plane manufacturer, it has so far reported that the aircrafts are safe. 

"We know that's not the case. Otherwise, they wouldn't be spending all of this time and tax dollars to re-review an aircraft they were already supposed to review. So, I don't think they should have done that," said Schiavo. 

The FAA is reviewing the design, part supply and assembly process of Boeing's facility in Seattle. 

So far, 24 787s have been grounded indefinitely.

"Its a financial concern for the company but, it will be short lived," said Schiavo. "If the history proves to be like the triple 7 then what they can expect is an 18-month to 2 year period where they work out the glitches."

Schiavo says Boeing can bounce back from this without a scratch.

"Statistics show that they newer the plane model, the safer performance record of the aircraft," said Schiavo.

So far, the recent issues have not impacted planes produced in North Charleston.

Schiavo says if the FAA makes substantial changes to the way the planes are produced, Charleston has the potential to outshine the product manufactured in Seattle.

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