FAA: Flaw in Dreamliner could cause ‘loss of control’

FAA: Flaw in Dreamliner could cause ‘loss of control’
© Getty Images

A software bug in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jet could cause the plane’s electrical system to fail, prompting a potential “loss of control” of the aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned.

The problem lies with the plane’s electrical generators if they are left on continuously for more than eight months.

ADVERTISEMENT
“A Model 787 airplane that has been powered continuously for 248 days can lose all alternating current electrical power due to the generator control units simultaneously going into failsafe mode,” the FAA stated in a directive.

“We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of all AC electrical power, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.”

The discovery of the flaw arises amid debate over the hackability of airplanes.

In a story the stoked concern in the cybersecurity community, a professional white hat hacker was recently barred from boarding a United flight and questioned by the FBI after he joked on Twitter about releasing a plane’s oxygen masks via hack.

Several models of aircraft have been found to be vulnerable to cyberattack, including the 787. In 2012, two experts discovered a “back door” in one of the jet’s chips that could be exploited by hackers.

Boeing said all of its 787s currently in service have been turned on and off to avoid the latest vulnerability, and the company is working on a software update that will patch it.