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Appropriator Asks NASA to Help Boeing Fix Dreamliner Problems

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), the lead Democratic Appropriator for NASA, today called on the space agency to provide scientists, engineers and expertise to the Federal Aviation Authority and Boeing to resolve mechanical problems that led the FAA to ground the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.

Fattah has visited the Boeing plant in Washington and witnessed first-hand the skill and dedication that the Boeing Team brings to every project but understands that sometimes outside input can be helpful.

"I am asking that NASA lend its expert knowledge to Boeing as the company works with the FAA to address the technical problems related to the Dreamliner's lithium battery leakage," Fattah wrote in a letter to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr.

Fattah cited as precedent NASA's "past success with Toyota" in helping the automaker identify and repair an acceleration program in vehicle release that had caused significant safety problems and a major vehicle recall.

"The United States has always led the world in technological innovation in aerospace. NASA has certainly been a key force behind these extraordinary engineering achievements," Fattah said. "In the past, NASA's engineers have provided their expertise to industries and companies facing unique technological challenges."

Fattah is Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies, which includes NASA. The text of the Congressman's letter to Bolden follows:   

January 13, 2013

Charles F. Bolden Jr.
Administrator
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
300 E St SW, Suite 9J24
Washington, DC 20546

Dear Administrator Bolden,

The aviation industry is facing a set of technological challenges that without expert intervention could have significant negative ramifications. As you know, Boeing's 787, known as the Dreamliner, has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as by authorities in Japan and Europe. Given your past success with Toyota's recall investigation, I am asking that NASA lend its expert knowledge to Boeing as the company works with the FAA to address the technical problems related to the Dreamliner's lithium battery leakage. 

The United States has always led the world in technological innovation in aerospace. NASA has certainly been a key force behind these extraordinary engineering achievements.  In the past, NASA's engineers have provided their expertise to industries and companies facing unique technological challenges. In 2010, Toyota called on NASA's electronic and software systems engineers to determine the source of the acceleration problem in Toyota's vehicle release.  As a result, the vehicles were repaired and many lives were saved.

I have visited the Boeing plant in Washington and witnessed first-hand the skill and dedication that the Boeing Team brings to every project.  Boeing plays a crucial role in supporting the United States' export and manufacturing industries and it is vital that the company meet all the requirements set forth by the FAA. 

Your leadership can help maintain the longstanding reputation of our aviation industry and maintain the growth and sustainability of the associated industries.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this request.  Please let me know about follow-up and any additional questions you may have.

Very truly yours,

Chaka Fattah
Member of Congress

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

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