Like a court’s summary order to be followed by an opinion issued at a later time, the FAA’s Friday April 19 announcement gets to the point without explaining how it got to its conclusion.
And given the history of the last 4 months there a several questions worth giving an answer to:
- What went wrong with the battery system and what is the fix?
- With the full board of the NTSB in the midst of its own investigation, what is the NTSB’s posture on what the FAA has just decided?
- Original testing for the battery system did not adhere to the FAA-mandated battery testing protocol (albeit on adopted 5 months after the issuance of “special conditions” on which the previous battery system was originally approved.
- Is adherence to the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics created protocol adopted by the FAA in 2011 now required by the FAA?
- Can we test the FAA’s conclusion underlying this decision? Put differently, to what extent will those outside the circle of FAA, Boeing, Thales and GS Yuasa be given access to the empirical data created by the last four months’ testing and investigation following the January grounding of the 787?