Boeing Grounds 787s
A crew of 42 aboard a 787 Dreamliner on a test flight Tuesday afternoon evacuated safely via emergency slides at Laredo, Texas, after the pilots reported smoke in the cabin while on approach to the airport. "We have decided to not fly the other planes until we better understand the incident," a Boeing spokeswoman said, according to BBC News. Nine airplanes are currently in the test fleet. The 787 had launched from Yuma, Ariz., on a routine test flight and had been in the air for six hours. According to the Seattle Times, the cause of the smoke was "a serious in-flight fire in the electrical-equipment bay." The fire affected the cockpit controls, and the jet lost its primary flight displays and auto-throttle, according to the Times. Boeing, however, said on Wednesday the primary flight displays were not affected, according to a local TV station. Boeing has released few details about the incident.
The crew was testing the nitrogen-generating system that reduces the flammability of jet fuel inside the wing tanks, the Times said. The airplane program is already three years behind schedule. Stock prices for Boeing fell about 3 percent on Wednesday as news of the incident raised concerns about further delays.