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FAA Grounds 787 with Emergency Airworthiness Directive

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered the U.S. fleet of Boeing 787 planes to be grounded, citing an incident in Japan earlier today in which one of the jet's batteries emitted smoke. The Japanese report came a week after a similar incident occurred in Boston. ( More...

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Er.A.K. Mittal 13
To me it seems that due to misplaced anxiety , both , Airbus and Boeing engineers and managers side tracked the basic rules of professional propriety taught in the respective class rooms ! And hence the problems in their star projects , A380 and B787 . Both committed professional blunders in the haste of out smarting each other . An utterly futile strategy . Both have their own well defined segments . I hope better sense will prevail on both and they will revert to age old principles of professionalism giving due thoughts to the sensitivity and the safety involved into the highly vulnerable product/service .
I am a bit confused about this statement:"The battery, used to start a small turbine engine that provides power when the plane is parked, is designed to not burn critical wiring or the plane’s structure, Mike Sinnett, the 787 chief project engineer, said in a press briefing last week."

Li-Ion run-away battery chain reactions can get very hot, emitting flames up to 1000°F (or more). I have no idea the structure of this particular cell or pack, but can imagine it has multiple cells. With the use of so much composite material, I find it hard to believe there is any capacity to contain such heat.
linbb 0
Yes you are very right I posted several times about those batterys. They are something to see go up too. See youtube about the model airplane battery fires even in flight. This is a known fact and has been for years in the model airplane community. Also full scale AC have been lost due to freight inflight fires.
JetMech24 0
The battery itself is SUPPOSED to be designed for this not to happen, hence the emergency AD.
bees31ballard 4
I think there was a directive a year or two ago that had issues with the transport of Lithium-ion batteries because of overheating issues (my lap is hot right now from my li-ion battery). If that is so, why does the NTSB, FAA allow / and or Boeing for that matter equip a plane with li-ion technology batteries as standard equipment for a power source. No doubt those babies are getting overheated with the electronics suite on those planes. Hope this gets worked out without any tragedies. A nice plane for the future. But get those batteries out of there. TOO HOT..
indy2001 3
I learned the hard way about brand new products. We booked a cruise a few years ago that was the maiden voyage for the particular ship. Despite all of the pre-cruise publicity, our week was terrible. Our departure was delayed 6 hours because the Coast Guard would not certify the ship's seaworthiness while several safety systems were unfinished. Once we were under way, the ship rolled uncomfortably from side to side because the port stabilizer would not deploy. The air conditioning didn't work for the first 3 days, so we had to leave our balcony door open for cool air. Some of the ovens didn't work, so very few hot items were available for days. The list of problems grew longer each day. For the most part, the passengers took it in stride. At the third port of call, one of the couples at our table had "Voyage of the Damned" t-shirts made for all of us. The cruise line had a dozen engineers join the ship. They worked tirelessly until almost everything was fixed. The cruise line issued vouchers for a 75% discount and a cabin upgrade on a future cruise. Although everything turned out well, we have decided not to schedule a trip on a ship until its 3rd or 4th month in service.

The 787 is a revolutionary aircraft, so some problems were bound to pop up (although I doubt anyone would have expected them to be this bad). Luckily, nobody has been killed or injured in any of the incidents. Thankfully, the aviation world has learned its lesson from the Comet and DC-10 accidents. Boeing will find a solution and the Dreamliner will eventually turn out to be the great plane that everyone expects it to be. Boeing will make it up to the airlines in some way. I just hope the airlines are fair in their treatment of passengers. I'm sure many of them bought tickets with the expectation of flying on the 787. At the very least, changes and cancellations should be permitted without the usual penalties.
Clam Shell 3
Drat. I *knew* this would happen right before I'm scheduled to fly the 787 ORD>IAH next week. The whole point of the trip was to fly the 787. Now I guess it will be with a 763 or whatever. Grr-rrrr.
SootBox 2
A dirty filthy smelly 763 at that.
Hope they don't throw a Saab 340 at ya :) as a replacement.
andrewderr 3
FAA's actual statement.
andrewderr 1
link to the AD$FILE/2013-02-51_Emergency.pdf
joel wiley 0
The AD states:

This AD requires modification of the battery system, or other actions, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA."

Where does one find the approved modification method, and has it been determined? Cutting to the chase, has anyone found the root problem? I know it's early in the investigation, but....
JetMech24 3
It's in Boeing's hands, have to wait for them to issue a Service Bulletin for the fix, FAA is just saying, no more 787 flights until Boeing has a fix, as you said.
joel wiley 1
Thank you. Am learning a lot on FA
Boeing needs to have a serious talk with that battery manufacturer.
linbb 1
It is a know fact among model airplane flyers that those batterys can explode and catch on fire if mishandled due to over charging or damage from a crash. There are many youtube vidios showing models catching on fire even in the air. No new flash here and its all of them not just from one manufacture.
Ric Wernicke 0
I understand that the Energizer Bunny has joined the technical enquiry team and is huddled with the FAA, Boeing, and the operators. They have already discarded the proposal to relocate the current battery to the galley so they can finally have truly hot coffee. Also off the table is dividing the battery into 200 parts and mounting each one on a seatback. Before flight passengers will be issued a mini fire extinguisher and be instructed in its use.
That's an awful lot of money to be sitting on the ground. Hopefully, Boeing will come up with a good and safe fix for the 787 and this beautiful aircraft will take to the skies again soon.
Denis Sullivan 2
Being a non-engineer I'm perplexed. I thought (wrongly, perhaps??) the function of the APU was to provide start-up and instrument power only until the airliner's engines begin generating, after which it shut down and remained on standby in case of in-flight electrical problems. Did I miss something? If that's the case, why are the li-ion batteries kept in use long enough to become overheated? Or, since it's in their nature to run hot, why is there no cooling machinery (such as the fan built into my laptop) to prevent excessive heat build-up?
I cannot believe a multi-million dollar airliner doesn't have a more sophisticated protection system for its batteries than a cheap smartphone. The later are constantly monitoring battery temperature, currents, voltage, and would take the appropriate measures in case of any malfunction (usually, shutting down the phone). Even more so when the 787 is so dependent on electricity because of its no-bleed design. BTW, its peak power generation rating is about 1.4 MW.
Zach Kuhn 2
Not good. They gotta fix this soon.
Cactus732 2
The FAA statement doesn't say anything about grounding, only an airworthiness directive. As soon as United, the only carrier that an FAA directive would apply to, comply with that then the 787 can resume normal service
JetMech24 2
The AD states to comply with the AD before further flight, that means grounded until the AD requirements are met.
Cactus732 2
That's actually exactly what I said. It's not an FAA grounding in a sense that the aircraft is not allowed to fly until Boeing presents them with an acceptable fix. All AD compliance work will be done in house by United, or whoever does United's maintenance, personnel
JetMech24 2
It is an FAA grounding of the aircraft, and also means that whether the sircraft is foreign or domestic, it may not be operated in US airspace. They never use the actual word "grounded", never have. The term "before further flight" is all you will ever see.
dbaker 4
Airborne 787s
Tom Kearney -1
Can they ground this one? LOT3 B788 Warsaw Frederic Chopin (EPWA / WAW) Chicago O'Hare Intl (KORD)
Tom Kearney -1
Sorry. Stupid question.
Tom Kearney 0
Return flight is at 9:55pm, Central time. See if Poland gets their plane back or not. lol.
Evidently not. Flight canx
Tom Kearney 0
Here...comes...another one. lol. Or maybe it's a phantom one courtesy flight tracking..
It was SP-LPE, B767, that had a short life as a B787 yesterday.
Tom Kearney 1
Polish airline may seek compensation from Boeing
Peter Cooper 4
Seems that the anti Airbus and pro Boeing fraternity have gone rather quiet lately, doesn't it ?
honza nl 2
many here always say: "if it ain't Boeing I'm not going" as to point out how bad Airbus is and how superb Boeing...
well guys: if going transatlantic I hope you can swim, and in the US have a good car !
ot: I am amazed how the FAA and Boeing put commercial profits before safety, by granting basicly unlimited ETOPS to the 787 from day one. After all: a complete new airplane, new engines, new electronic architecture, new systems, everything was new and (in the real world) untested, unproven. ETOPS always was a way to reward reliable planes which had flown safely and reliable for millions of flight-hours. Now, in order to sell them quickly, the 787 got nearly unlimited ETOPS without all that: just some paperwork, computer testing with theoretical models, and some flight-hours. It's now proven how far these theories are away from the reality ! Think it was over the ocean, and then this fire would have started....
Both the FAA and Boeing should have a serious look in the mirror, and ask themselves some serious questions.....
and ps: it now has been grounded in the US, Japan, Australia, Europe, South-America (?) and India; not just because of the batteries: breaking cockpit windows, leaking fuel (according to FAA sources because of a fundamental design flaw), braking problems, electronic malfunctions, fire and battery-related errors. The emergency landing in Japan was just the last drop in a full bucket.
Scott Campbell 2
Quite Anti-Airbus peoplep ...really ??? There still in the red for decades to make a profit on the 380, and will never see 47 sales volume. Airframe builders from Cessna to Boeing will always face continuing AD's --- these too shall pass. I can honestly say I love Cessna 150's, Airbus , and yes Boeings 787's (the most comfortable plane made) and most anything that gets me off the ground at a greater speed than my car..........
United 32 is still in the air.... :) The Concord had issues beyond it's profitable viability - it would have never flown, if had been up to some of you here.
Kevin Brown 1
Kevin Brown -1
787's currently airborne
Dennis Martin 1
Looks like Qatar is still kicking tires and lighting fires.
Peter Rabyk 1
"Clam Shell", I'm in the same situation as you. I am on United 1510 to IAH tomorrow. I am flying back to ORD on Tuesday on UAL 1136, I hope they get a handle on this by then.
Peter Rabyk 1
Clam Shell, United subbed a 737-800 for tomorrow (18 Jan). I was hoping for at least a 764. LMAO.
A Shame it had to come to this.....hope quick and lasting fix
william baker 1
Either United never got the message or they fixed the issue because United 1510 from Chicago to Houston is airborne today with a Boeing 787 as of 1:46 pm est January 17 2013
Pat Bell 1
I took a look at the United web site and it shows 1510 operating with 737-900 aircraft #3410, even though Flightaware was showing a 787.
william baker 1
Lol probably I just saw it in flight aware never really looked into it much lol thanks.
Kevin Brown 1
The NTSB have released pictures of the burnt battery from the KBOS incident
Well I suppose you could say that the box did a reasonable job of containment, but it doesn't look good for this type of battery in its present form.

I presume they are monitored for excess temperatures and/or fire or breakdown.
steve rogers 1
your right . unfortunately we live in a gotta have it yesterday or we will cancel our order world .
is the JAL plane in Boston a write off?
william baker 1
I don't think so since most if the damage to the aircraft was in the battey. And Japan air does have it back just needs to repair it if I'm not mistaken but sure it will be repaired and put back into service.
zmidnite11z 1
Here is something I don't understand. The FAA has grounded the 787's. I have a flight from Tokyo to LAX on the 21st. I'm on the phone with United Airlines to make sure they have a plan in place to replace the 787 for that flight - basically checking my schedule departure. The United agent does not know about this FAA announcement. She puts me on hold to discuss with her supervisor. She gets me back on line tells me that neither her or her supervisor can tell me whether United will be flying the scheduled 787 or not on that flight. I'm like "Excuse Me?" Now given all the attention the 787's problems have been getting and given the FAA demand, I would think that United would immediately, internally to all orgzanizations, pass on this information and even if they don't know yet whether it will be 777 or 747 replacement - at least tell their organizations to pass on to their customers that "we will have a replacement plane for you". I've been flying this Airline pretty much 100% the last 20 years. Since the merger - more and more they are driving me away.
nicholas weber 1
One would have thought that with a 3 year delay Boeing would have discovered and resolved these issues. There's just a hint of the DC10 pressure test. "Oh, look the cargo door has just blown out". "No Matter, we'll think up a good excuse when it happens in service and blame it on someone else!"

Li-ion batteries suffer from runaway overheating. Anyone who has a mobile phone will know that if left on charge the phone gets hot. Especially if you are charging and using the phone simultaneously. In other words Li-ion batteries cannot take a sustained heavy load.
john griffin 1
With this announcement, there is much angst and speculation, but only time will tell whether this is a bump in the road for a new aircraft, or a more serious issue. It will be interesting to read these posts on March 1. Best to all of us trying to get from point a to point b as well as possible. Cheers.
United have a few spare 747-4's in Mojave or Victorville they can revive until this rectified?
Matt Lacey 1
Really wondering why this wasn't found during testing. Was the testing insufficiently stressing? Is it just that there is much more time now and statistically more will happen?
Dee Lowry 1
"OUCH"....This is a big headache for Boeing! I believe that Boeing will prevail and the "Dreamliner" will fly with the pride in which she was built!
Majeed Panahi 1
10 years ago I attended a Boeing seminar in Abu Dhabi , UAE , addressing technical developments and new technologies in the new Dreamliner. It was also a marketing seminar for B787 and we (Gulf Air( were potential customers.

I was amazed with the significant reliance of the B787 on electrical power and I asked this question "What new or exceptional developments and technologies have been achieved in Batteries, dry cells and electrics to convince Boeing on near total reliance on Electrical power for this new aircraft, taking into consideration the traditional limitations and problems of the batteries as source of energy?"

I never got a convincing answer , but frankly , I never thought of batteries getting overheated, which in itself is not highly unusual, to such an extent to affect the safety of the aircraft and its occupants.

There is something that does not fit here. I dearly love to get the whole story.
Matt West 1
According to the BBC, Boeing has now suspended delivery of the 787. This can't help Boeing's reputation which is a shame as the 787 is a beautiful looking aircraft:
Brian Lager 1
The Fire Protection Research Foundation did a study of Lithium batteries in 2011. Check the web site of The National Fire Protection Association for links to the report. Also Aviation International News had a report on the subject last October. Both are worth reading if only to dispel some of the media hyperbole.
joel wiley 2
Search results on the NFPA website:
I think the report mentioned was:

Aviation International News:
Brian Lager 1
Thanks for posting the links.
pat cunningham 1
Is it true that the 787 has aluminum wiring ?????
Two Questions.

1 - Was the battery pack the same issue that caused the fire during testing and resulted in an emergency landing in Laredo, TX?

2 - If so, what was done to correct the issue at that time?
I am not surprised by the incident in Japan or other places, it is through such experience in the past that even the well defined flying birds of the skies fly today either the Boeings or Airbuses, both mature with experience. It is Just because we are IMPERFECT to create a flawless Design like nature.
joel wiley 2
On the gripping hand, what appears to be nature's flawless design may reflect tens of millions of years of darwinian R&D.
dbaker 1
CHICAGO, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney issued the following statement today after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive that requires U.S. 787 operators to temporarily cease operations and recommends other regulatory agencies to follow suit:

"The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.

"Boeing is committed to supporting the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible. The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. We will make available the entire resources of The Boeing Company to assist.

"We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the traveling public of the 787's safety and to return the airplanes to service.

"Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers."
joel wiley 1
According to the site below, the batteries appear to be supplied by a Japanese company GS YUASA- things will get murkier....
honza nl 0
On top of the programme's financial concerns, Boeing may also need to restore confidence in the 787's entire electrical architecture. It was designed as a technological leap forward, reducing fuel consumption by several percentage points, and using electricity to replace parasitic bleed-air to power onboard systems and cabin pressurisation.

But the power system with nearly 1.5MW (2,010hp) of capacity has been a source of constant headaches barely 15 months into service. A suspected batch of poorly-built circuit boards are likely to have caused a series of glitches on power distribution panels of several aircraft in December 2012, forcing United and Qatar Airways to briefly ground some aircraft to perform repairs.

Far more worrisome, however, are the newly-realised risks of fire posed by the two lithium-ion polymer batteries, a powerful chemistry is described as a "first" in commercial aviation on the 787. Boeing selected a lithium-ion-based battery proposed by electrical power conversion system supplier Thales, which packaged an industrial-grade battery designed by Japanese firm GS Yuasa and a battery charger unit made by Securaplane, based in Tucson, Arizona.

Industry and government regulators were aware of the risks of potential safety hazards posed by battery chemistries based on lithium-ion.

In 2006, Securaplane's administration building "burned to the ground" because of a botched laboratory test involving a GS Yuasa battery designed for the 787. In 2007, the FAA imposed a set of special conditions for Boeing to prove the safety of lithium-ion batteries before the agency would grant airworthiness certification for the new aircraft.

The certification tests appeared to show that Boeing had passed the FAA's test. The lithium-ion battery allowed Boeing to start the auxiliary power unit with a device half the size of comparable nickel-cadmium or lead acid batteries used in previous aircraft designs.

Last week, Michael Sinnett, the 787's chief project engineer, said lithium-ion is not the only acceptable solution, but it was still the best option for the 787.

Any future design must show that the battery is safe, even if something fails and heat builds up to dangerous levels, says Hans Weber, head of the Tecom aviation consultancy.

Such a design must ensure that a fire is contained and is quickly extinguished by being deprived of oxygen, he says. Moreover, most, if not all, of the smoke generated by the flames must be vented outboard, rather than be allowed to circulate inside the pressurised cabin, he says.
alistairm 2
Atleast site the article that you are copying and pasting:
linbb 0
Gee people who fly radio control model airplanes know how unstable they can become due to not charging them properly and mis handling. Most have containers they put them in between use due to that problem. To use them in an AC to me is bad the weight saving isnt worth the possiblity that they might blow up. Seems that a cargo aircraft or two were lost due to the freight shipment of the same. Hmm FAA where is you brain trust? Working for the manufacture?????
Cole Goldberg 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA grounds ALL Boeing 787s over safety concerns

The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded all Boeing 787 planes, until the aircraft are proven to be safe to fly. The FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive to address a potential battery fire risk. Before further flight, the agency will require Boeing to demonstrate that the batteries are safe.
chalet -2
To the Airbus bashers who have said many times that if it ain´t Boeing, not going, OK folks, I want to hear your reactions if your travel agent book you on an 787 13-hour long flight accross the Pacific or 10 hours from Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile; speak louder, can't hear you.
Dan Iwanski 3
My Reaction, sweet, whats my departure time?
chalet -1
Your flight was cancelled, dear, and since all flights are full, you can always swim
Gelatin Man 0
Seriously, if you're going to put massive li-on batteries on your plane, at least make sure it's safe! If I was the FAA and there are all these battery and cockpit glass problems, just ground the plane! Its not that hard and its a good thing that would save lots of worry!
billykid05 0
I researched causes and incidents of laptop battery accidents to derive my own conclusion for the 787 battery mystery...My #1 educated guess is a backward spike to the battery. A spike/surge so strong it overpowers or literally jumps thru the arrestor circuits designed to prevent electrical spike/surges. My #2 guess is the battery is not at fault initially, but faulty wiring or other connection to the battery which heats up, smokes, eventually suffocating the battery resulting in an externally ignited battery. I know, I know,,,it's rudimentary speculation. But it's buggin me.
I think Boeing needs to check in addition to the battery other systems of the aircraft as a precaution, so that nothing serious will occur again. Until that, airlines can fly 767s on cancelled routes such as Boston and San Diego, they have the range.
MIKE Dawe -6
Good news, Please keep it on the ground. The public is sceptical about all airlines and public safety, and this shows why.
benin -1
This is a new plane with some bugs in the system. Let them work them out and the plane will be just fine
Matt West -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA Orders 787s Grounded Over Battery Risk

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement ordering operators of Boeing 787s to ground those airplanes until they prove that the batteries onboard are safe.
Timothy Sullivan -1
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA grounds Boeing 787s

Boeing's 787 have been grounded for a possible problem with the batters. This comes after another problem with the 787 in Japan that caused an emergency landing earlier today. This problem grounded all Japanese 787s.
Paul Schiesser -3
I can't recall a new model having so many problems, The A380 had the engine pylon cracks, wing cracks? But it seems you gotta have a lot of faith to get on a 787. I wonder what Airbus is learning from all this with the A350
joel wiley 1
I think it takes an act of faith to climb onto any airplane. Likewise and act of faith is needed to drive on the freeway.
Mj Alkhafaji 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA Grounds All Boeing 787 Dreamliners Following Yet Another Failure

After smoke was found pouring into one of its Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” planes yesterday, forcing an emergency landing, Japan’s All Nippon Airways grounded its entire fleet of 787s. Japan’s Transport Ministry referred to this as a “major incident.” Today, the Federal Aviation Administration has decided to ground all 787s in the US–that’d be six of them, all operated by United. The FAA had already begun a full-scale investigation into the safety of the much-maligned 787, which has had more than its share of issues since introduction, but this is a huge move. The problem seems to be with the plane’s lithium ion batteries. We’ll let you know more as soon as we know. [via The Verge]
Bill E 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Boeing 787: Dreamliner's lithium ion batteries probed

The lithium-ion batteries used in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner are central to the design of a plane which is billed as being lighter and 20% more fuel efficient than earlier generations of jet.
Matt West 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA Orders 787s Grounded Over Battery Risk

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement ordering operators of Boeing 787s to ground those airplanes until they prove that the batteries onboard are safe.


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