Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Grounded--not once, but twice.

The new Boeing 787 has identity issues.  On Monday, it thought it was a Chevy Volt and caught fire while parked at the gate at Boston's Logan International Airport.  The next day, while taxiing for take-off at the same airport, it decided to be the Exxon Valdez instead, spilling jet fuel on the tarmac.  The flight was immediately aborted, as Massport officials were concerned that the plane might morph into a duckboat next if it tried to clear the runway.  Boeing insists that the so-called Dreamliner is flightworthy, which it might be.  In your dreams.  Or on a tight leash, with a pre-plotted string of diversion airports along the flight path.

Not only was the aircraft grounded, but so was Boeing's stock:

Boeing's share price (5-day chart).

So far it has been a tough week for Boeing's CEO, James McNerney (below), and it's only Wednesday.  If this keeps up, Nerns will do in Chicago what his Yale classmate, Howard Dean (then a candidate for U.S. President), did in Iowa nine years ago:


Who knows?  Maybe the Dreamliner will inspire a new idiom:  Yeah right, I'll believe that when 787s fly.

[update, 01-16-13--]

Scream on.  The FAA has just grounded all U.S.-registered Boeing 787 Dreamliners, issuing "an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk."  The directive follows an aborted flight in Japan earlier today.  Deployment of emergency chutes (below) is never a good sign.

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