Boeing has suspended flying operations of its fleet of 787 test aircraft after the second Dreamliner was forced to make an emergency landing due to an onboard fire.
According to various media sources, Dreamliner ZA002 was en route to Yuma, Arizona, from Harlingen, Texas, for extended tests of the aircraft’s nitrogen generation system on November 9 when smoke was observed in the cabin, believed to have come from a fire in one of the electronics equipment bays which subsequently caused the flightdeck primary flight displays and autothrottle to fail. As a result, the aircraft made an emergency landing at Laredo, Texas, under visual flight rules with the ram air turbine deployed, after which the approximately 30 test personnel on board evacuated using the emergency slides.
Boeing says it is “continuing to collect data” on the incident, and it is understood that the FAA and electrical systems supplier Hamilton Sundstrand are also involved in the investigation. Boeing has also cancelled all test flying for November 10, with the remaining five aircraft being moved to ground testing duties.