FAA approves test flights for Boeing 787

Published On: Feb 08 2013 11:41:48 AM PST
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
WASHINGTON -

Boeing is getting permission for test flights of its 787 as it tries to fix battery problems that have kept the plane grounded.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the test flights will have restrictions, including pre-flight testing and inspections, and in-flight monitoring. The tests are limited to airspace over unpopulated areas.

Boeing says the tests will happen on one of the six airplanes it used for testing before the 787 was certified by the FAA in late 2011.

The planes still can't be used for passenger flights until the FAA is satisfied that the battery problem is fixed.

The grounding order issued on Jan. 16 meant that Boeing even needed FAA permission to fly an empty 787 from Texas to Washington state on Thursday after it had been painted.

Boeing says the pilots who flew that 787 from Texas to Everett Thursday monitored the battery status and indicated the flight was uneventful.

The 787 landed routinely just before 11 a.m. at Paine Field, near the factory where it was assembled.

The plane was flown from Meacham Field at Fort Worth where it was painted in the colors of the airline customer, China Southern.