787 Dreamliner probe spreads to Meggitt unit

Marion Dakers

ref="/ftse-100">FTSE 100 engineer Meggitt’s shares dropped almost two per cent yesterday as the international probe into the 787 Dreamliner widened to include one of its subsidiaries.

Securaplane Technologies, a US firm owned by Meggitt, makes chargers for the lithium ion batteries used on Boeing’s new Dreamliner planes, which have been grounded worldwide amid safety worries.

Investigators are due to travel to Securaplane’s Arizona base today to examine the chargers for any signs they might be behind the problems.

They also plan to carry out similar tests at the site where a unit of United Technologies builds the power unit, after looking at battery maker GS Yuasa’s production line in Japan.

A spokesperson for Meggitt said the company is taking part in the investigation but could not comment further.

US aviation watchdogs have been working with Japanese authorities to find the cause of the issues in the batteries used in the Dreamliner, which have shown signs of burning.

Authorities around the world last week grounded the new Dreamliners after an All Nippon Airways plane made an emergency landing.

But the regulators remain in the dark about the underlying cause, with Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau saying it might have been sparked by overcharging, while the US National Transportation Safety Board declared that the battery did not exceed its designated voltage.