As someone who flies a fair amount, I enjoy reading about modern aviation. I’ve been intrigued by the new 787 Dreamliner, the ultra-high-tech carbon-fiber wonder-plane that, after years of delays, is finally making it into the skies. Or was, until they were grounded a week or two ago, due to a bunch of minor glitches and one potentially bigger glitch… batteries that might burn or explode. Normally I wouldn’t think much of such issues, because it’s just a battery after all, the plane can still fly without it, and with all the fire control measures in place on a modern plane, nothing’s going to endanger the plane. Right?
Then I read this paragraph-
“Separately, the Seattle Times is reporting that a 787 battery undergoing safety testing in 2006 exploded in a lab run by Securaplane Technologies of Tucson, Arizona. The building housing the lab burned to the ground.”
Wow. That puts things in perspective. It’s one thing to have your electric car catch fire and burn down your garage. A bit of a different issue flying over the ocean. So yes, I think it makes sense that the FAA has grounded the planes until they’ve run down the problem.
I’m still looking forward to flying in the Dreamliner, but while I initially thought the grounding might have been a bit excessive, well, I don’t quite feel that way anymore. Regulatory agencies may have reasons to exist after all. But my big takeaway from all this is that, no matter how challenging I think the problems my business faces, they’re nothing like Boeing’s right now.