The Federal Aviation Administration will permit Boeing to carry out test flights of the 787 Dreamlimer to gather more data on the lithium ion battery that have become the focus of two investigations into fires and smoke from two planes that triggered the Dreamliner’s grounding last month.
In a released statement, the FAA said the test flights will be subject to a number of restrictions, including extensive pre-flight testing and in-flight monitoring. The flights will be conducted over unpopulated areas.
The FAA is also conducting a comprehensive review of the 787's critical systems, including the aircraft's design, manufacture and assembly announced following the first incident on January 7th.
It wasn’t a test flight, but on Thursday morning, a 787 took flight from Fort Worth, Texas, to Everett's Paine Field on a so-called ferry flight. The FAA approved that special flight under certain conditions. There were no passengers and the crew had to continuosly monitor the lithium ion battery that has caused the 787 problems. Boeing received permission to move the plane back to Everett from a Texas based painting contractor.
A federal probe into electrical fires led to the grounding of all 50 Boeing 787s around the world last month.
KING 5's Glenn Farley, Liza Javier and Jake Whittenberg contributed to this report.