NTSB to question Boeing battery tests

By Stefanie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The National Transportation Safety Board is set to release a report on whether the FAA and Boeing have adequately tested the lithium batteries that caught fire on Dreamliners in the U.S. and Japan back in January.

The NTSB will issue an interim factual report on the JAL B-787 battery fire investigation at 11 a.m.

The investigation into the lithium batteries comes after the FAA ordered the grounding of all Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets until their U.S. operator proved that the batteries are safe on the planes.

The NTSB says it will question whether the battery tests done since then by Boeing have been "robust enough." The NTSB notes in their own investigation into the batteries that multiple cells were found to have uncontrolled chemical chain reaction including short circuiting and thermal runaway - not features that should be seen in a brand new battery in a brand new airplane.

Aviation experts note that the lithium batteries that operate at high temperatures have never before been used in commercial airlines before.