US officials defend handling of Boeing 787 mishaps
by Joan Lowy, Associated Press
January 23, 2013 03:30 PM | 869 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 photo, a grounded All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 is parked on the tarmac at Haneda airport in Tokyo. Japan's transport safety agency says a lithium ion battery on a Boeing 787 that overheated during an All Nippon Airways flight earlier this month, prompting an emergency landing, was not overcharged. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
In this Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 photo, a grounded All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 is parked on the tarmac at Haneda airport in Tokyo. Japan's transport safety agency says a lithium ion battery on a Boeing 787 that overheated during an All Nippon Airways flight earlier this month, prompting an emergency landing, was not overcharged. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 photo provided by the Japan Transport Safety Board shows the distorted main lithium-ion battery, left, and an undamaged auxiliary battery of the All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 which made an emergency landing on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 at Takamatsu airport in Takamatsu, western Japan. Japan's transport safety agency says a lithium ion battery on a Boeing 787 that overheated during an All Nippon Airways flight earlier this month, prompting an emergency landing, was not overcharged. (AP Photo/Japan Transport Safety Board)
In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 photo provided by the Japan Transport Safety Board shows the distorted main lithium-ion battery, left, and an undamaged auxiliary battery of the All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 which made an emergency landing on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 at Takamatsu airport in Takamatsu, western Japan. Japan's transport safety agency says a lithium ion battery on a Boeing 787 that overheated during an All Nippon Airways flight earlier this month, prompting an emergency landing, was not overcharged. (AP Photo/Japan Transport Safety Board)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama administration officials are struggling to defend their initial statements that the Boeing 787 is safe. They are promising a transparent probe of mishaps involving the aircraft’s batteries.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stood by his Jan. 11 assertion that the 787, Boeing’s newest and most technologically advanced airliner, was safe. At that time, he and the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Michael Huerta, declared the plane fit to fly despite a battery fire in one plane.

Five days later, following another 787 battery mishap in Japan, LaHood and Huerta ordered the lone U.S. carrier with 787s to ground the planes. Authorities in other countries swiftly followed suit.

Huerta, joining LaHood, said FAA is working as quickly as possible to find the cause of the problems.

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