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787 grounded, but batteries can fly

Published On: Feb 04 2013 02:23:29 PM CST
787 Dreamliner 2

Patrick Oppmann/CNN

WASHINGTON -

While Boeing's 787 Dreamliners are grounded, the batteries causing airliner's troubles can still fly.

At the time the government certified the 787 as safe, federal rules barred the type of batteries used to power the airliner's electrical systems from being carried as cargo on passenger planes because of the fire risk.

Now the situation is reversed.

Dreamliners worldwide were grounded nearly three weeks ago after lithium ion batteries that are part of the airliners led to a fire in one plane and smoke in a second. But new rules exempt aircraft batteries from the ban on large lithium ion batteries as cargo on flights by passenger planes.

Pilots and safety advocates say the situation doesn't make sense.

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