Wednesday, January 16, 2013

787 Dreamliners grounded

Airlines regulators in the U.S., Japan, India and Europe have grounded the Boeing 787 Dreamliners after a recent spate of problems, including one that required an emergency landing and evacuation in Japan.

Two ANA Dreamliners at Tokyo's Haneda Airport
All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) announced Jan. 15 that they would ground their Dreamliner fleets after a string of problems in the last month including a battery fire, fuel leaks, and a cracked cockpit window.

ANA, which took deliver of the first Dreamliner to enter commercial service, operates 17 of the aircraft, while JAL operates five 787s.

Regulators quickly followed suit with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounding the planes a day later.

Manufacturer Boeing is proposing  a "complete health check" on each lithium-ion battery, and the batteries' manufacturer, Kyoto, Japan-based GS Yuasa said it has begun working with investigators probing the cause of recent problems, stating that the root cause is unclear. The company is working to determine whether the source of the problem is the electronics system, the power source, or the batteries themselves.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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