Fire on Boeing 787 Dreamliner Forces Emergency Landing
According to FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford, the test flight “declared an emergency due to smoke in the cabin and all occupants evacuated via emergency slides,” at about 2:54 p.m. CDT. “We are looking into the incident,” Lunsford added.
Officials said that about 30 to 40 Boeing employees were aboard the no. 2 plane in Boeing’s test fleet of six. No injuries where reported.
According to Flight Global, the emergency landing was caused by a fire in the aft electronics equipment bay, causing the cockpit flight displays and auto throttle to fail. As a result of a power failure, the ram air turbine was deployed, and the aircraft landed in visual flight rules conditions.
ZA002 had departed from Yuma, Arizona at 7:42 a.m. MDT on its test flight, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.com, and its intended destination was Harlingen, Texas, but the plane diverted to Laredo.
It is the latest setback for the 787 Dreamliner program, already near to three years late.
On Friday, Aviation Week reported that the company has told several of its customers that delivery of the 787 Dreamliner will have delays of at least 10 months.
Boeing has said it is planning to deliver the first 787 to All Nippon Airways in the middle of the first quarter 2011 but Aviation Week sources say that this may no longer be possible because “Boeing is battling with a host of issues and late design changes.”