FAA allows Boeing to fly 787 Dreamliner ‘special flight’

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“Before flight, the crew must perform a number of inspections to verify that the batteries and cables show no signs of damage,” the FAA said in a statement.

“The pre-flight checklist will include a mandatory check for specific status messages that could indicate possible battery problems,” the agency continued. “While airborne, the crew must continuously monitor the flight computer for battery related messages, and land immediately if one occurs.”

The FAA said its approval of the special 787 flight was unrelated to Boeing’s request to begin regular test flights of the plane with the hopes of returning it to service.The FAA said it was still “evaluating” that request.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is scheduled to provide an update on its own 787 battery review on Thursday, which the agency has been conducting separately from the FAA.

The NTSB has said that its examination of the battery that caught fire revealed that the lithium-ion device accelerated temperature increases known as "thermal runaway" and short-circuiting.

The agency said it has ruled out the batteries being overcharged as a possible cause of the failures experienced in the roll-out of the 787.