Battery Charger Aboard 787 Cleared in Fire Investigation

U.S. investigators examining the battery charger from a Boeing Co. 787 that caught fire this month in Boston have found no evidence of flaws that could have caused the incident.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has completed testing of the charger at the Tucson, Arizona, plant where it was made by Securaplane Technologies Inc., the agency said in an e-mailed release today. Securaplane is a division of Christchurch, England-based Meggitt Plc.

The NTSB also said it examined a device known as an auxiliary power unit, which contained the lithium-ion battery that burned on a Japan Airlines Co. 787 in Boston on Jan. 7, at UTC Aerospace Systems and found nothing wrong. UTC Aerospace is a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary in Phoenix.

The 787 Dreamliner, as Boeing calls the plane, was grounded by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Jan. 16 after a second battery incident occurred in Japan on an All Nippon Airways Co. flight. The battery emitted smoke and became charred, forcing pilots to make an emergency landing.

The NTSB is assisting Japanese investigators in that incident. NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman called both fires a significant safety concern on Jan. 24.

The agency has so far not discovered why the battery caught fire, Hersman said.

The JAL plane was delivered to the airline on Dec. 20 and had made 22 flights before the accident, according to the NTSB. The lithium-ion battery that caught fire was manufactured in September.

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