Thursday, January 16, 2014

Battery problem grounds a JAL Boeing 787.

Japan Airlines (JL/JAL) has grounded Boeing 787-8 JA834J, after a battery problem was discovered during a check-up at Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA) when the aircraft was preparing for service to Bangkok/Suvarnabhumi (BKK/VTBS) as JL707 on January 14th.

Maintenance crew spotted white smoke coming out from the lower part of the fuselage during the inspection around 1615 local time on Tuesday, before the plane's scheduled departure to Thailand at 1805. When the engineers went outside the aircraft, the smoke was no longer there, but cockpit warning lights indicated potential malfunctions with the main battery and charger. Upon checking the battery, they found that the venting valve for one of the eight cells had activated and liquid appeared to have leaked inside. There have been no signs that the fault had propagated to other cells in the battery, nor signs that the liquid that leaked had breached the containment box.

The 158 passengers and 11 crew for JL707 were directed to another B787, JA829J, and it departed only seven minutes behind schedule. The valve is among the modifications made to the Dreamliner's battery systems following a three-month-long worldwide grounding of the airliner last year. It is designed to release pressure in battery cells in the event of overheating. The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and Boeing are currently investigating the matter. Delivered to JAL in June 2013, a few weeks after Boeing restarted deliveries of the B787, JA834J has so far logged 2,679 hours.

Source: Aviation Wire (in Japanese)

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