Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

U.S. Transportation Secy. Ray LaHood says Dreamliners were safe when he vouched for them

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WASHINGTON-- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Saturday night of the troubled Dreamliner aircraft: "we're doing a top to bottom review of them."
LaHood, who was on hand for an Illinois State Society Ball in the run-up to the Presidential Inauguration, was asked by the Chicago Sun-Times if he regretted vouching for the Boeing 787 Dreamliners just five days before they were ordered grounded. Days earlier, in the face of questions about the aircraft, he said he had "absolutely no reservations" about boarding them, declaring them safe.
"The day that I said that they were (safe)" LaHood said. "And when they weren't safe I said that, and we grounded them. ... We had another incident and we knew we really had to look at them."
The Dreamliner was designed to be a leap forward, a high-tech design aimed at operating with 20 percent more efficiency. But they were hampered with issues, most recetly in Japan where batteries were melting.
LaHood, who is said to be leaving his post, was asked about the timing of his last day.
"I...I don't have anything on that."

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