UPDATE - Safety Concerns Limit Laptop Power Portsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
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Safety Concerns Limit Laptop Power Ports
By ANDY PASZTOR and BARBARA BOYDSTON
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Escalating safety concerns about the systems that power passengers' laptop computers on aircraft have prompted United Airlines to shut off all such devices on its Boeing 777 jets and American Airlines to step up inspections and launch a fleetwide rewiring effort.
In mid-May, the captain of an American Airlines Airbus A300 en route from London to Boston decided to divert the flight to Shannon, Ireland, after sparks flew around one of the plane's in-seat power outlets, according to a spokesman for American.
Mechanics discovered that wiring had chafed against the underside of the seat. Nobody was injured, but it is believed to be the most serious in-flight incident stemming from a malfunction of such gear.
The unscheduled landing caused American, a unit of AMR Corp., of Dallas, to step up scrutiny of potential hazards posed by the proliferation of power ports.
Spokesman John Hotard said the carrier is in the midst of a months-long effort to check the safety of laptop outlets throughout its 700-plane fleet and plans to come up with design changes to make certain the outlets' wiring can't be accidentally damaged by vibration or by passengers' carry-on bags. The goal is to "minimize the risk of it happening again," Mr. Hotard said.
-----SNIP------ July 14, 2000 http://travel.wsj.com/n/SB963503042953819764-main.html
-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), July 15, 2000
NOTE: I had to snip this due to a problem with trying to post the full article.
-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), July 15, 2000.