August 2012

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Why is ZA002 returning to Everett?

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ZA002 is making its second flight this afternoon, a quick ferry flight from Boeing Field back to Everett. Randy Neville and Van Chaney will at the control of the aircraft for the quick flight north, the first since December 22nd. Here's why:
Debris forces second 787 back to Everett
Boeing's second flight test 787 is set to make its second flight, a return trip to Everett, for a thorough cleaning of its fuel tank following the discovery of foreign object debris (FOD). 

The FOD was found trapped in the fuel filter following the aircraft's 22 December first flight to Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. 

Boeing confirms that "crews discovered very small amounts of debris" inside the aircraft's fuel tank during a planned non-operating period following first flight. Programme sources say a piece of cheese cloth left in one of the aircraft's fuel tanks is said to be responsible for the return to Everett, where the facilities to accomplish the cleaning are located.
While the issue is ultimately a "minor setback" and represents more of a headache to getting the flight test fleet up and running, Boeing adds that FOD find has prompted them to go back and look at factory procedures to ensure that this doesn't happen again.

I'll have a complete status update on the first month of 787 flight test tomorrow.

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