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NTSB gives update on Boeing 787 Dreamliner probe

Updated: March 7, 2013 10:01AM

The National Transportation Safety Board said it will give an update Thursday at 10 a.m. on its investigation of the fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 in Boston in January.

A battery on the plane caught fire while the Boeing Dreamliner was on the ground and empty of passengers. The NTSB said it will issue an “interim factual report” on the battery fire investigation.

That fire was followed by an incident a week later in which an ANA jet made an emergency landing after a smell of smoke in the cockpit that came from a battery.

Problems with lithium-ion batteries prompted regulators to ground all 50 of the 787 airplanes in service Jan. 16.

Also Wednesday, Reuters reported that Japan’s All Nippon Airways had three instances of electric distribution panel trouble in its Boeing 787 Dreamliner before it grounded the aircraft in January and had to replace the panel twice, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing a spokesman for the airline who said the problems are not believed to be serious and have occurred on other aircraft.

In the most serious case, which took place in April 2012, ANA found burns in the protection circuit and the breaker of an electric distribution panel during on-ground inspections after pilots received a generator-related bug message, ANA spokesman Etsuya Uchiyama told Reuters.

Reuters reported the company believes a foreign material entered the panel and caused the short circuit. The material is likely to have scattered and damaged the breaker, and ANA replaced the damaged panel, the spokesman said to Reuters.

Boeing said earlier this week it is set to move quickly to get the aircraft back in the air if it gets federal approval for its proposed fix for the batteries.

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