Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2nd JAL 787 suffers another incident, NTSB releases 787 fire preliminary findings

Another eventful day for Boeing and the 787.  In a surreal twist from yesterday's events, another JAL 787 in Boston experienced a fuel leak mishap as it was taxiing to the departure runaway for the return flight to Tokyo.  According to news reports, the aircraft leaked about 40 gallons of fuel by the time it returned to the terminal.  Maintenance crews inspected the aircraft and JAL 007 then departed at around 4pm for Tokyo after a delay of 4 hours.

The aircraft from yesterday's incident (ZA183) is still in Boston as the NTSB assigned two more investigators to team looking into the event from yesterday.  The team said that the lithium ion battery fire did cause extensive damage in the battery pack area and the damage was confined to no more than 20 inches away from the source.  These batteries are used to start the APU.  Boeing in a separate statement that this incident is not related to the other electrical issues that the 787 has faced.

However, Jon Ostrower reported that United Airlines, while inspecting the lithium ion batteries in one of their 787s, found that the wiring to the batteries were incorrectly connected.  This does not mean that the same condition existed in ZA183 or caused the fire but it may it disturbing nonetheless and would be looked into as a possible cause of the fire by the NTSB.  The battery fire may be a design issue with the battery, a one off manufacturing flaw, or incorrect installation or maintenance of the battery among the many root causes that the investigators have to examine. Despite the two incidents in two days, 787s are still in use by customers around the world and Boeing flew ZA430 (LN 73, B-2728) flew a function check flight. Though Boeing is still working with Chinese regulators to certify the 787 for use by that country's airlines.  China Southern is still expecting it's first 787 in March though it is unknown if the fire will set back those plans.

17 comments:

nskiwi said...

Boeing is starting to get hammered. It sounds like nearly everyone is having some sort of electrical issue with the 787..how is this possible if the test fleet didnt or did they and Boeing kept pushing aircraft out and thinking they have made a fix but only finding out they havnt. How can they wire things incorrectly?? makes you wonder. I think what hurts Boeing and the 787 so much compared to previous programs decades ago before the internet was accessible and the social media, its so easy to spread the word around now days, and since the program is delayed everything no matter how big or small is making headlines.

Andrew Munsell said...

According to KPAE there was a CAAC certification flight today (ZA382/B-2727/N1014X for China Southern) and a certification flight with the FAA on JA818A/N1009N/ZA512 for ANA.

Andrew Munsell said...

Uresh, how far overweight is the 787-8 currently?

nskiwi said...

so apparently ETOPS cert to 330min has been delayed/affected according to the flightglobal website, im not a member so I cant read the article but I cant seem to find any report on the net in regards to this either

TravelingMan said...

Will Boeing continue to manufacture and deliver 787's during the FAA's review process that they are announcing today?

TravelingMan said...

And another thing, if small cracks in windshields are common and easily repaired, as I've read, why are the airlines reporting them to the media?

TravelingMan said...

What does an FAA review of the Dreamliner's "power system" mean to the program Uresh? Are they really questioning whether or not the electrical system is actually feasible and needs to be redesigned? Electrical power systems are common in other complex machinery. Surely they will prove okay in airliners if we are patient enough to work out the teething problems.

Uresh said...

Yes, production, assembly and deliveries will
Continue unless the FAA finds issues that will make them act otherwise

Uresh said...

Don't know if the airlines are reporting them or if the media is getting that info from other sources and then making them a bigger deal that they really are.

TravelingMan said...

So a valve gets left open at Logan airport and the media reports it as a Dreamliner "issue". A small crack in a windshield happens in Japan and the media jumps on that too. Perhaps Airbus is paying airport employees for any scrap they can dig up because they are starting to realize that the Dreamliner is going to eat their lunch.

Andrew Munsell said...

I agree with you but with one addition. They have thousands of issues with their A350 so they are testing how the public and the officials (FAA & NTSB) respond to issues by testing them one at a time on 787s.

Unknown said...

I will be flying a United 787 Jan 23 LAX to IAH. I have no doubts as to the safety and thoroughness to which they check out this aircraft. I hope that everyone recognizes that this is just sensationalist press as the FAA and Boeing work diligently to find the root cause of the Boston fire.

Randy Austin said...

The FAA is doing the right thing, they don't have a choice. If something else of a major issue (not windows, circuit boards, etc) were to happen, headd would roll if they didn't.

As for the press, remember what happened after the Qantas A380 incident--they couldn't catch a break for months. Is the A380 now perfect?--No,from time to time they're parked for longer than the normal turn around time, but do we hear about it anymore--No.

And this too shall pass.

kvde2k said...

If you're reffering to the ANA problem with a cracked windshield they had to reuturn to the airport and cancel the flight. That's going to reach the media regardless of if ANA reports it or not and they sort of have to comment on it when the media prints the story.

graeme77 said...

Would anyone know why ZA382 is filed for a flight to KFTW?
Surely its not for painting...

Robert Neugebauer said...

First TUI LN92 out of FAL!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabian404/8376293838/lightbox/

Robert Neugebauer said...

First TUI LN92 out of FAL!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabian404/8376293838/lightbox/