787 woes worsen as fleets grounded

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 16, 2013
Grounded. ANA and JAL have elected to ground their 787s after another incident. (Rob Finlayson)

JAL and ANA have grounded their combined fleets of 24 787s in the wake of another incident involving onboard electrical systems that resulted in passengers of an ANA 787 being evacuated after a precautionary emergency landing at Takamatsu.

Pilots of the aircraft en route on the domestic light from Ube to Tokyo received a battery alarm on the flightdeck at the same time there were reports of smoke and fumes in the cockpit and cabin.

Last week a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston Airport suffered fire damage when the onboard lithium ion battery exploded during turnaround.

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While last week seeking to reassure 787 operators and travellers alike that its new twin-jet was safe and probes into a series of incidents more a matter of routine, the voluntary grounding by JAL and ANA of their entire 787 fleets will be troubling to Boeing. The two Japanese airlines have around 100 aircraft on order, but more concerning to the manufacturer will be the reputational damage caused to the 787 in recent weeks.

Comments from the Japanese transport minister that “the Japanese people have become enormously worried after hearing almost every day” about 787 incidents will not help Boeing.

Fifty 787s have so far been delivered.

8 Comments

  • Mark

    says:

    Just like a new model car, dont buy the first ones. Wait 6 months and then buy.

  • BH

    says:

    I remember a lot of people bagged Airbus and the A380 for its troubles. I wonder if Boeing will get similar treatment for problems that are every bit just as serious…?

  • Red Barron

    says:

    6 months…. Maybe 6yrs will be a bit safer

  • DAVID

    says:

    I said it before it even took flight: there will be a lot of trouble for this nightmare plane when it goes to operation. electric now, software and structure later. Wait and see more.

  • Peter

    says:

    Maybe the Dreamliner should be renamed the Nightmareliner!!!!!

  • Vlad

    says:

    Test flights and simulations are one thing, commercial flying is another. Flying frequency has exposed what appears to be a problem with battery and i’m sure Boeing will work to fix it.

  • Pontious

    says:

    The announced Critical Design Review is clearly a last ditch manoeuvre to allow the FAA not to ground the aircraft.
    The fact that the FAA did not pull the ETOPs approval last week is unbelievable. Ten to the minus nine failure risk on a 180 minute diversion! The JAA pulled the A330 approval early on after just a couple of engine failures. That’s what ETOPs is all about. Only a courageous airline would operate the 787 on ETOPs now. Actually called LROPs these days.

  • Pontious

    says:

    Sorry I’m out of date. The Feds have pulled the plug!

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