A preflight test of a 787 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft caused a grass fire at a South Carolina airport. Material was thrown out the back of the engine onto nearby grass causing the fire. A spokesperson from the aircraft manufacturer said an inquiry was taking place so he could no longer make any comments about what had taken place to cause the fire, or why the material had been blown out the back of the engine.
This was not the first incident that has taken place with the Dreamliner of late. The aircraft has GE and Rolls Royce engines and All Nippon Airways from Japan took five of its aircraft out of service. The five taken out were 787 Dreamliners with Rolls Royce engines. They were taken out of service on July 21 after Boeing found that some of the components in the engine had a much shorter service life than had been previously expected.
A statement released by Boeing said it was unaware of any operational issue that was of concern to them about the 787s safe operation where GE engines were concerned. The engine issue was not commented on directly by a spokesperson citing the ongoing investigation about the 787s with Royce Rolls engines.
Boeing’s factory in North Charleston is one of two that are used to build the 787 aircraft. The other is located is a company plant outside of Everett, Washington. The Dreamliner is one of the first jets in the world with wings and almost its entire fuselage made from composite materials.
Only All Nippon and Japan Airlines use the aircraft, which started commercial use in late 2011. The aircraft was delayed for nearly three years due to a number of different issues.