Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5654493/

Topic: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: max999
Posted 2013-01-08 05:46:40 and read 25928 times.

There seems to be something wrong with a.net this morning and it's keeping me from posting the link. You'll need to copy and paste the URL below into your browser

Quote:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323482504578227621155767836.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection
Quote:

The fire was in the aft electrical equipment bay, where electrical problems and an earlier in-flight Dreamliner fire have been reported. In 2010, an electrical fire in the same bay forced a Boeing test plane to make an emergency landing in Texas. More recently, a power panel in the bay prompted an emergency landing in New Orleans by a United Continental Holdings Inc. 787.

"This incident goes to the heart of the innovative side of the 787," said Hans Weber, president of TECOP International Inc., an aviation consulting group that specializes in aircraft certification. Mr. Weber remained concerned that spate of electrical issues aboard the 787 could make it more difficult for the plane to fly extended missions far from diversion airports.

The 787 was designed for long over-water routes between midsize cities that couldn't profitably accommodate a larger jet with more seats. It has had to meet a stringent set of regulations to ensure the jet can still fly safely in the event one of its two engines fail.

Those regulations include strict guidelines for the lithium ion batteries on the 787 because of concerns about the batteries' potential flammability.

During the 787's development, Boeing repeatedly affirmed that it complied with the expanded safety standards for the batteries, which are part of the aircraft's emergency power system.








[Edited 2013-01-08 05:51:44]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: ikramerica
Posted 2013-01-08 06:52:59 and read 25520 times.

If there's any basis to this the weight savings of Li over Ni could be the most expensive 10 kilos ever in a commercial program.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: BoeingVista
Posted 2013-01-08 07:18:21 and read 25246 times.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 1):
If there's any basis to this the weight savings of Li over Ni could be the most expensive 10 kilos ever in a commercial program.

Maybe, but the 100kg Airbus saved with composite wing tie feet will cost them $200m odd so its the nature of the business.

I guess restricted ETOPS on the 787 would result in billion dollar program costs but we are not there yet.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: seabosdca
Posted 2013-01-08 07:31:10 and read 25095 times.

Quoting max999 (Thread starter):
There seems to be something wrong with a.net this morning

You can't post direct links to the WSJ because it's behind a paywall. Use a Google News link, like this one.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-08 07:48:54 and read 24904 times.

I call BS on this one.

Quoting max999 (Thread starter):
"This incident goes to the heart of the innovative side of the 787,"

As mentioned in the other thread (hint, hint) there are many other products flying around with Li-Ion batteries in them, including the A380, so it isn't necessarily anything 787 specific.

It all could very well just be an unfortunate one-off incident, and there's no evidence this particular battery incident is a part of a pattern nor due to anything about the 787 itself.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: BoeingVista
Posted 2013-01-08 07:54:11 and read 24852 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 4):
As mentioned in the other thread (hint, hint) there are many other products flying around with Li-Ion batteries in them, including the A380, so it isn't necessarily anything 787 specific.

Also as mentioned in the other thread all Li-ion batteries are not the same, Li-ion is a description of the reaction, construction materials are vastly different.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-08 08:12:34 and read 24649 times.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 5):
Also as mentioned in the other thread all Li-ion batteries are not the same, Li-ion is a description of the reaction, construction materials are vastly different.

Indeed they can be quite different, but I can imagine batteries for aviation applications need to meet similar goals/requirements, so do we know that they are in fact "vastly different"?

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: yellowtail
Posted 2013-01-08 10:59:40 and read 21893 times.

Was there another 788 incident....

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100363734

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-01-08 11:03:02 and read 21800 times.

It is comforting these events share a common factor, if anything. It will be so much easier to design the necessary fixes. That is a good thing!

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-01-08 11:35:15 and read 21065 times.

If the problem is the risk of a fire on board, it doesn't matter how many engines you have so how in the world does this tie in with ETOPS? A fire on board is the single biggest problem a crew can face. You have to land ASAP no matter how many engines you have. More engines are not going to somehow make an emergency airport materialize our of the empty ocean.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: seabosdca
Posted 2013-01-08 11:38:27 and read 20970 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 9):
If the problem is the risk of a fire on board, it doesn't matter how many engines you have so how in the world does this tie in with ETOPS?

Fire suppression is a major component of ETOPS, which is no longer only about compensating for the lack of more than 2 engines, but is now more generally about improving safety for extended overwater operations.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-01-08 11:47:40 and read 20792 times.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 10):
Fire suppression is a major component of ETOPS, which is no longer only about compensating for the lack of more than 2 engines, but is now more generally about improving safety for extended overwater operations.

I get that but are you saying that quads don't have the same level of fire suppression? Is a fire on a A380 somehow less dangerous than on a 787 simply because the A380 has 4 engines?

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: prebennorholm
Posted 2013-01-08 12:21:59 and read 20115 times.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 1):
If there's any basis to this the weight savings of Li over Ni could be the most expensive 10 kilos ever in a commercial program.

10 kg?

I don't know how heavy it is, but I know that among other things it must start the APU. The 787 APU is a massive piece of machinery, which delivers more power than a Merlin engine on a P-51 Mustang or Spitfire - up to 1.1 Mw electric power. A lot bigger than the traditional hydraulic/pheumatic airliners. I would bet on an entirely different battery mass to get that thing moving.

The alternative - NiCd - has roughly 40% of the Li-Ion power density. So any NiCd replacement would be roughly 2½ times heavier.

But if the 787 in the end will have to fly with 250 kg battery instead of 100 kg, then so be it. Just take out two seats, giving the rest a little more legroom. And add 1% to all fares, game over.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: mac3xx
Posted 2013-01-08 12:28:12 and read 19994 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
Fire suppression is a major component of ETOPS, which is no longer only about compensating for the lack of more than 2 engines, but is now more generally about improving safety for extended overwater operations.

Fire suppression system can be installed in any comportment of an A/C but not in avionics bays (risk to damage electronics equipment when activated), most scaring event for crews is to face avionics smoke in flight. You can Imagine the atmosphere in the flight deck if you get the alarm in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, more the 200 minutes from the nearest airport. Think about it in CAA offices in charge of ETOPS regulation and certification.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: KC135TopBoom
Posted 2013-01-08 13:31:29 and read 18896 times.

How many batteries does a B-787 have? We had two on the KC-135, both could be changed inflight. One battery was to start the APU, and the other one powered the hot battery buss. Our batteries were Ni-Cads and wighed about 50 lbs. each.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: s.p.a.s.
Posted 2013-01-08 14:44:21 and read 17445 times.

KC135,

According to the FCOM, Vol 2, page 6.20.4:

Battery Power
The airplane has two primary batteries; main and APU. The main battery power
switch is located on the overhead electrical panel. The APU battery functions
automatically, and has no power switch. Operating indications for the main and
APU batteries are provided on the electrical synoptic.
The main battery provides power for:
• airplane power-up
• APU start (assists APU battery)
• refueling operations
• towing operations
• electric braking (as backup power source)
• captain’s flight instruments (energizes essential instruments until RAT
deployment)
(Refer to Modes of Operation in Chapter 6, Section 20, for additional
information.)
The APU battery provides power on the ground for:
• APU start
• navigation lights (during battery-only towing operations)


Both are rated 28V DC

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: yeelep
Posted 2013-01-08 15:40:28 and read 16365 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 9):
If the problem is the risk of a fire on board, it doesn't matter how many engines you have so how in the world does this tie in with ETOPS?

Tri's and quad's had lower cargo fire suppression limits than twin ETOPS planes before the new 2007 FAA ETOPS rules took effect. In fact they still have five weeks before the upgraded fire suppression systems are required.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: ADent
Posted 2013-01-08 20:25:15 and read 12983 times.

Here is a good image from the NTSB: NTSB investigator Mike Bauer evaluates damage to the JAL 787 Dreamliner, from yesterday's fire.



[Edited 2013-01-08 20:25:51]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: BoeingVista
Posted 2013-01-08 20:29:09 and read 12907 times.

Quoting ADent (Reply 17):

Interesting I would have expected more damage as the Brigade says it took 20-40 minutes to extingush and then the battery exploded..

Lets hope that the NTSB got copyright approval for this picture  

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-08 21:21:06 and read 12364 times.

Quoting ADent (Reply 17):
Here is a good image from the NTSB: NTSB investigator Mike Bauer evaluates damage to the JAL 787 Dreamliner, from yesterday's fire.

Just to orient people who are seeing the 787's aft equipment bay for the first time...

The photo is taken from the RH side of the EE bay, looking left. Right in the photo is forward in the airplane and left is aft. Mr Bauer's left hand is resting on an opening which extends to a hatch which goes down through the WTB fairing and exits the airplane. When cargo is loaded in the aft pit, this is the only way into the aft equipment bay.

Adjacent Mr Bauer's right hand is the control unit for the electric wing ice protection system. Each slot in the box represents the electric control function for a symmetrical pair of ice protection zones on each wing.

Above the APU battery slot, where Mr Baur is inspecting, is the APU power panel. This manages all power from the APU.

Directly behind Mr Bauer is the oft-discussed P100 power panel. The P200 panel is directly behind the photographer.

By Mr Bauer's left shoulder is a liquid cooled equipment rack (often referred to as an "HVDC" (high-voltage direct current) rack). This rack contains the ATRUs (auto transformer/rectifier units) and large electric motor controllers, which are the heart of the 787's more-electric system's architecture. There is an identical rack at the right shoulder of the photographer.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: F9animal
Posted 2013-01-08 21:33:59 and read 12224 times.

Can anyone tell me what would have become of this latest incident if the plane was over the Pacific Ocean, and halfway past say Hawaii and the mainland? I think this incident is serious enough to question the outcome if it had happened at cruising altitude, and hundreds of miles from land. I dont understand why this airplane continues to fly with so many fires! It is a blessing that nobody has been hurt yet. However, I dont like the odds in this roulette game. I think a grounding is the safest option, and Boeing needs to get it figured out. I would rather see the issues resolved before more of these planes are flying.

I am sure I will get flamed for my views, which is fine. But... I lost a friend on Valujet 592. Granted the circumstances were different because of oxygen canisters.... It was still a fire, and the results are haunting. Which is why I will not hold back my swings. Airplanes and fire are a lethal combination. I am emotional about it, and thats all.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-01-08 22:17:07 and read 11788 times.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
I dont understand why this airplane continues to fly with so many fires!

You don't know why there was a fire this time. If it was a defective battery, why on earth would you demand they ground the fleet? I am not 100% on top of all things 787 but how many fires is "so many fires!"? Ironically, the link posted earlier about the A380 incident sounded earily similar (to me) to the ZA002 (?) incident in San Antonio, yet we heard absolutely nothing about that here or in the news because it was a more mature airframe.

I'm definitely not going to deny that there are problems with the aircraft. When I see the headlines concerning the incidents involving the aircraft I'm like anyone else - I cringe. It smacks of the time when the A380 would have bad news after bad news, or the A350 would go through iteration after iteration, or frankly most everything involving the 787 program over the past five years. It sounds really bad and it just seems to pile on to the existing bad news, making it appear REALLY bad.

I am not prepared, though, to join the elite cast of characters who deride the safety of the 787 at every turn. I respect that you have emotions about this, and I'm not "flaming" you, but I guess I just can't get onboard with your desire to ground the fleet when we don't even know what the problem was, why it happened, and if it is easy to fix. I hope that nothing ever happens to an airframe, and I hope that that's how the previously-referenced characters feel as well. I know that you absolutely want nothing to happen either.

Anyhow, I am eager to hear what the ultimate cause of this incident was and what the repercussions will be. We need to get this airframe out of this perceived danger zone and soon.

-Dave

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-08 22:17:34 and read 11792 times.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
Can anyone tell me what would have become of this latest incident if the plane was over the Pacific Ocean, and halfway past say Hawaii and the mainland?

Here is my guess:

- There is no fire/smoke detection in the aft equipment bay, so no fire indication in the flight deck.
- The battery has active monitoring, so the crew would likely have received an overheat message, which would have stopped them from trying to use it in flight and caused them to isolate the battery from the charger.
- Normal E/E bay venting is directly to the outflow valve, so no smoke would have entered the cabin.
- The battery enclosure is designed to contain an event like this, so minimal collateral damage (as evidenced in the NTSB photo)
- Li-ion batteries have finite energy to release, so the event would have been self limiting.
- The airplane would have landed with a battery squawk and the maintenance crew would have found a crispy battery.

In other words we would be exactly where we are today... an airplane on the ground with minimal damage and an active investigation to understand why the battery went into thermal runaway.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
I dont understand why this airplane continues to fly with so many fires!
Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
I am sure I will get flamed for my views

I understand this is an emotional topic for you and I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. However, if you don't want to get flamed, try to avoid posting factually inaccurate statements. This is the first fire event (by anyone's definition of fire) for the 787 in service. The airplane has been modified since the ZA002 flight test event to preclude that problem from happening again. This fire is the first in-service event and was clearly unrelated to the ZA002 event.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 12):
The 787 APU is a massive piece of machinery, which delivers more power than a Merlin engine on a P-51 Mustang or Spitfire - up to 1.1 Mw electric power.

The 787 APU has two 220Kva starter generators for a total power output of 440Kva, not 1.1Mw.

[Edited 2013-01-08 22:20:49]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: cbphoto
Posted 2013-01-08 22:56:45 and read 11387 times.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
Can anyone tell me what would have become of this latest incident if the plane was over the Pacific Ocean, and halfway past say Hawaii and the mainland? I think this incident is serious enough to question the outcome if it had happened at cruising altitude, and hundreds of miles from land. I dont understand why this airplane continues to fly with so many fires! It is a blessing that nobody has been hurt yet. However, I dont like the odds in this roulette game. I think a grounding is the safest option, and Boeing needs to get it figured out. I would rather see the issues resolved before more of these planes are flying.

I am sure I will get flamed for my views, which is fine. But... I lost a friend on Valujet 592. Granted the circumstances were different because of oxygen canisters.... It was still a fire, and the results are haunting. Which is why I will not hold back my swings. Airplanes and fire are a lethal combination. I am emotional about it, and thats all.

Look, as a pilot myself, I can say one of the biggest fears we have is an inflight fire, especially in a hard to get place, with limited access. We can sit here all day long and go back and forth on the "what-ifs" of any certain event. However, by us doing that, we really wouldn't get anywhere. It didn't happen over the pacific, halfway between Hawaii and the mainland and it didn't happen in flight. What if the Capt. of Swiss Air 111 had just diverted, instead of running a lengthy checklist? That incident would be just a distance memory, but instead the industry as a whole learned a lot from it. Just like with yesterdays incident, the investigators will do their job and find a solution to the problem. Rather then asking "what-ifs" we should be asking, how and why it happened?

I would have no problems walking on a 787 tomorrow, even with all of these issues. Yeah, clearly it is an issue that Boeing has to work out, but at the same time, you have to trust the safety net that exists. If the mechanics and pilots think it is still safe to fly, the companies will continue to operate the aircraft, even with these teething issues. If you think about it, because of these issues that have arisen, the 787 might actually be even safer, based on the scrutiny that the aircraft is getting by all parties.

I think a lot of people just need to take a step back and wait for the final report to come out, before suggesting the aircraft be grounded, or Boeing be shut down, or we go back to the steamship days for transportation  

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2013-01-08 23:05:34 and read 11315 times.

Regarding CM's latest post above...

I am far from someone who assumes that all manufacturers always engage in the best engineering practices, or that regulators always catch the manufacturers if they make a mistake or an intentional omission.

However, from the moment this story broke, knowing the miniscule amount that I know about thermal runaway, batteries, and aircraft design and certification, my reaction was that battery-flambe was an obvious possibility that would have been designed-for at the earliest stages, and the design solution investigated and validated by the certifying authority at the earliest stages. In other words, of the things that could go wrong, I expected that this would have been well-planned-for by the manufacturer (as it was LIKELY to happen in the service life of the aircraft) and the solution checked by the authority.

I was pleased to have been told that at any time that the aircraft would be operating with the doors closed, any smoke from this thing going up would be vented overboard with none entering the cabin, which I was curious about. It never crossed my mind that a battery fire (in the *aircraft's own batteries*) could bring down the aircraft in flight, and it appears that it couldn't and wouldn't if everything functioned as designed.

I am eternally grateful for CM's calm ability to provide simple, solid FACTS to counter the knowledgeless supposition by doofy fanboys like Ostrower, who does nothing to make his bones as a serious student of the aircraft business by his performance today, nor the 20-year-old "analysts" at financial firms whose equally-dumb suppositions move billions of dollars in market value daily.

When asked about this earlier today, I told someone that I expected that if the battery had gone up over the Pacific, there might have been a minor warning in the cockpit, that nobody in the cabin would have noticed a thing, that the thing would just have consumed itself and gone out, and that maintenance would have found a combusted battery nestled in its containment vessel when they checked as to why the APU battery wasn't working. But, heck, what do I know?

Accordingly, it was a true delight to read CM's post which says basically the same thing, but explains it clearly and concisely from an engineering perspective. Thank you, Sir, and welcome to my RU list -- not that you need it.

In short, the only really bad luck for Boeing was that this thing caught fire in the one place that anybody (outside of those in the industry and here on a.net) would have noticed.

The only thing that I'm looking for from the NTSB is whether they think that the engineering solution to prevent this from being a problem functioned as designed, i.e. was it robust enough. Contrary to all the dramatic verbage from the Boston Fire Department that we have seen, it sure looks like it did and was, but I'm happy to await the report.

[Edited 2013-01-08 23:19:18]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2013-01-08 23:25:15 and read 11475 times.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 2):

JAL can get back to NRT or HND via Alaska without ever going more than 60 min etops of they had to by crossing over the Aleutians- sakhalin- south east over the Kamchatka peninsula thru sapporo control then over the mainland especially now that the Russians are pretty cool about overflights.. Had to go that way to deliver a King air in the past. the flight planning is a lot of work because there are few way points that far east going north -south but it can be done and the Chinese and Russians do it quite a bit I'm told.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: FlyingAY
Posted 2013-01-08 23:32:55 and read 11407 times.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
It is a blessing that nobody has been hurt yet.

Well, one firefighter has been injured slightly.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 21):
If it was a defective battery, why on earth would you demand they ground the fleet?

Because there might a systematic fault made at the battery manufacturer and every single 787 APU battery might be faulty? Remember that things get grounded even if there is not enough information to say if the problem concerns the whole fleet. DC-10 got grounded in 1979 even if there was nothing wrong with the plane! However, I do not think this incident warrants grounding of the whole fleet - it seems this has not been done for any airframe in the last years even after more serious issues with a plane...

It seems strange that a LiIon battery would continue to burn 40 minutes, usually these things burn away rather quickly when the reaction starts. A LiIon thermal runaway does not need oxygen, so even if it was in an airtight container that should not slow down a runaway. Since NTSB is on the case, I'm sure we get all the details over time...

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2013-01-08 23:35:53 and read 11628 times.

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 12):
I would bet on an entirely different battery mass to get that thing moving.

Not really. The total power output of the 787 APU is roughly comparable to other APUs (it's just puttting all that power out as electric, rather than electric + pneumatic). However, since it has no load compressor, it's a lot easier to start...the generators are also the starters so they don't put any load on the APU during the start.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
How many batteries does a B-787 have?

Two major ones, plus several system-specific auxiliaries (not unique to the 787).

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 18):
Lets hope that the NTSB got copyright approval for this picture

If NTSB took the picture, they'd have the copyright. No issue.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
Can anyone tell me what would have become of this latest incident if the plane was over the Pacific Ocean, and halfway past say Hawaii and the mainland?

I agree completely with CM's assessment.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 20):
I dont understand why this airplane continues to fly with so many fires!

How is 1 "so many"?

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 23):
What if the Capt. of Swiss Air 111 had just diverted, instead of running a lengthy checklist?

They'd have died anyway. This is an oft overlooked part of the TC report...even if they had diverted at the first sign of a problem the fire would have rendered the aircraft uncontrollable prior to reaching an airport.

Tom.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: flood
Posted 2013-01-08 23:46:38 and read 11465 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 22):
The battery enclosure is designed to contain an event like this, so minimal collateral damage (as evidenced in the NTSB photo)

To be fair, what the photo shows is minimal collateral damage with the added benefit of the Boston FD. That said, an axe may have made things worse - but we don't know the details yet.

Anyway, interesting photo and thank you for the tour of the bay  

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: rwessel
Posted 2013-01-08 23:52:37 and read 11357 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 22):
Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 12):
The 787 APU is a massive piece of machinery, which delivers more power than a Merlin engine on a P-51 Mustang or Spitfire - up to 1.1 Mw electric power.

The 787 APU has two 220Kva starter generators for a total power output of 440Kva, not 1.1Mw.

In any event, later Merlins put out over 2000hp, which would be ~1.5MW, less generator efficiency* if you wanted to match the application.


*In this size class, you'd expect efficiencies well over 90%

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-01-08 23:58:52 and read 11269 times.

Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 26):
Because there might a systematic fault made at the battery manufacturer and every single 787 APU battery might be faulty?

So they certify the aircraft knowing that a battery can do exactly what appears to have happened here, and that would then require a grounding? If it's a "known known" and it's designed for, as CM posted, why on earth would you ground them? It isn't like a battery going POOF is unheard of or unplanned for.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just looking at it as a planned for incident - just unfortunate and awfully early in the program perhaps. Now, if the battery went POOF "because" it's the 787, that might be a different story, but I don't think you'd ground them because "well, it's possible".

-Dave

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: packsonflight
Posted 2013-01-09 00:02:00 and read 11280 times.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 27):
If NTSB took the picture, they'd have the copyright. No issue.

Strange...

Did the NTSB violate the ND agreement between Boeing and the Buyer?

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Unflug
Posted 2013-01-09 00:11:43 and read 11141 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 19):
Just to orient people who are seeing the 787's aft equipment bay for the first time...

Thanks for these explanations!

Quoting CM (Reply 22):

Here is my guess:

And thanks again for this assessment!

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: FlyingAY
Posted 2013-01-09 00:11:45 and read 11164 times.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 31):

Strange...

Did the NTSB violate the ND agreement between Boeing and the Buyer?

Why an agreement between two other parties would limit NTSB in any way?

[Edited 2013-01-09 00:12:05]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-01-09 00:28:47 and read 10958 times.

Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 33):
Why an agreement between two other parties would limit NTSB in any way?

I'm guessing packsonflight might have been following the lead of BoeingVista:

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 18):
Lets hope that the NTSB got copyright approval for this picture

Why, I don't know.....

-Dave

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: rwessel
Posted 2013-01-09 00:49:52 and read 10738 times.

Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 26):
DC-10 got grounded in 1979 even if there was nothing wrong with the plane!

The DC-10 was grounded because the AA191 accident pointed out that slat mechanism was non-locking, and the slat-disagreement indicating system was likely to be taken out by an event that took out the slat hydraulics, which meant that the aircraft did not meet the certification requirements. So yes, there was something wrong with the aircraft.

Of course, had AA191 not occurred, and had the design issue gathered enough attention to get the FAA to order its remediation, it would unlikely have resulted in a grounding, rather just the more typical AD with a time limit.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: ADent
Posted 2013-01-09 01:27:17 and read 10378 times.

CM -thanx for the good posts.

Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 33):
Why an agreement between two other parties would limit NTSB in any way?

It references photos from after the ZA002 incident - an inside joke on the thread. These were on the web (including this site) and on the the Seattle newspapers site. All were removed by request from Boeing.

See http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalk...2010/11/22/boeing-versus-bloggers/ and reply 81 here: 787 Test Flight Evacuated Due To Smoke - Part 2 (by moderators Nov 19 2010 in Civil Aviation) .

[Edited 2013-01-09 01:29:09]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-09 02:59:12 and read 9669 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 22):
In other words we would be exactly where we are today... an airplane on the ground with minimal damage and an active investigation to understand why the battery went into thermal runaway.

Well, today we are where we are because of the intervention of the Boston Fire Department, which spent 40 minutes putting out a fire with two-feet high flames. Had the fire developed during flight, the outcome would surely have been different. I don't know how different, but certainly different.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2013-01-09 03:50:42 and read 9130 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 22):
In other words we would be exactly where we are today... an airplane on the ground with minimal damage and an active investigation to understand why the battery went into thermal runaway.

If it had been in the air, and it could easily have been, we would have another story. A stroke of luck does not make the situation any safer. It's like saying there was no problem if the oil pipe had failed after QF32 had landed. We do still have to find out the reason for the runaway, manufacturing defects are not the only reason.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-09 04:09:11 and read 8943 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 37):
Had the fire developed during flight, the outcome would surely have been different.
Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 38):
If it had been in the air, and it could easily have been, we would have another story.

Based on what we know about the incident and how the airplane is designed, I don't think things would be any different for the airplane if it had happened in flight. I've explained why in #22. You disagree and feel an in-flight event would have had a different result but have not said what would be different or why you feel this way. Can you elaborate?

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-09 04:45:16 and read 8470 times.

Quoting ADent (Reply 17):
Here is a good image from the NTSB

Cool!

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 24):
However, from the moment this story broke, knowing the miniscule amount that I know about thermal runaway, batteries, and aircraft design and certification, my reaction was that battery-flambe was an obvious possibility that would have been designed-for at the earliest stages, and the design solution investigated and validated by the certifying authority at the earliest stages. In other words, of the things that could go wrong, I expected that this would have been well-planned-for by the manufacturer (as it was LIKELY to happen in the service life of the aircraft) and the solution checked by the authority.

From the moment the story broke, we didn't know it was a battery fire, we just knew smoke was coming from the same area as one could have expected in the ZA002 incident. In my case, I wasn't up to speed on the battery aspect, and I appreciate the a.net members who contributed their knowledge.

Quoting flood (Reply 28):
thank you for the tour of the bay

Me too!

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 31):
Did the NTSB violate the ND agreement between Boeing and the Buyer?

I know where you are going with this, but even in the ZA002 threads it was said that if NTSB released photos as a part of a report, Boeing would not object. I suppose that's because a report would have had a review first. I'm not sure if Boeing is happy or not about this photo, but clearly the infamous P100 panel has its covers on, so Boeing doesn't have the same intellectual property issue it raised after the ZA002 incident.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 37):
Well, today we are where we are because of the intervention of the Boston Fire Department, which spent 40 minutes putting out a fire with two-feet high flames. Had the fire developed during flight, the outcome would surely have been different.

Surely? I don't see any scorching above the battery compartment. As per above and reply #24, I'm confident this failure mode was analyzed a long time ago, presumably for other aircraft carrying around such batteries for many years now. I imagine the NTSB, Boeing and JAL are looking at the evidence to confirm this was a pure battery fault and if so we'll get a nice report in a few weeks saying such.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 38):
If it had been in the air, and it could easily have been, we would have another story.

Uhm, no. We would have had a battery burning inside of its enclosure, some smoke (perhaps not enough for anyone to notice) being vented outboard, a battery error being handled by the crew, and mechanics replacing a battery once on the ground.

I'm pretty amazed at the sense of panic in the air. Yes, there have been incidents with the 787. They cause bad press and cost the airlines money, which is unfortunate, but some people seem to ignore all the work and testing that's already gone into the 787.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: LTC8K6
Posted 2013-01-09 04:54:08 and read 8375 times.

Sounds kind of minor...

"The NTSB investigator on scene found that the auxiliary power unit battery had severe fire damage. Thermal damage to the surrounding structure and components is confined to the area immediately near the APU battery rack (within about 20 inches) in the aft electronics bay. "

http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/130108b.html

[Edited 2013-01-09 04:54:53]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-09 05:01:49 and read 8267 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 39):
You disagree and feel an in-flight event would have had a different result but have not said what would be different or why you feel this way. Can you elaborate?

I already elaborated above:

Quoting UALWN (Reply 37):
Well, today we are where we are because of the intervention of the Boston Fire Department, which spent 40 minutes putting out a fire with two-feet high flames.

Without the intervention of the fire brigade, how would have the fire on the ground evolved? There is no fire brigade while on the air (and no access to that compartment).

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Jlager2
Posted 2013-01-09 05:05:28 and read 8229 times.

My first post on A.net and probably not a good one to get involved in but have viewed from the sidelines for many years and this has prompted me to post. I had some observations and questions.

The panel by the NTSB investigators cap, does appear to show scorching as does the floor space although this could be residue from any retardant used. Therefore at some point, surely this "incident" could have become uncontained?

Also, I am not sure of the shielding that is placed on the cables within an avionics bay but they don't look particularly insulated and at some point couldn't the flashpoint have been reached which would have lead to a secondary fire? This is sometimes (and not always the case) what causes the acceleration of a fire to other areas and beyond.

It would be good to hear from someone with experience of fire prevention as well as relying on certification statements which are being mentioned here.

One final point. there was a comment made earlier which I have pasted below:

"Li-ion batteries have finite energy to release, so the event would have been self limiting"

Isn't this is a bit like saying a match has finite energy to release.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: s5daw
Posted 2013-01-09 05:20:21 and read 7995 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 42):
Without the intervention of the fire brigade, how would have the fire on the ground evolved? There is no fire brigade while on the air (and no access to that compartment).

Did firemen's effort actually contribute to shorten the time it took the battery to burn? How do you stop a fire that does not need external oxygen? They took the battery out if I understood correctly, so that's good, but it had been burning for about 45 minutes a that time, right?

On the other hand, to have no access to that bay would make any pilot (or passenger) nervous with fire in there during ETOPS, no?

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Aviaponcho
Posted 2013-01-09 05:33:32 and read 7853 times.

By the way, is the NTSB photo a photo of P100 / P150 and P200 panels ?
Quite interesting...

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: BoeingVista
Posted 2013-01-09 05:37:05 and read 7807 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 39):
You disagree and feel an in-flight event would have had a different result but have not said what would be different or why you feel this way. Can you elaborate?

OK Not my comment but let me take a shot at it. Two simple and fundamental differences between in flight fire and on ground fire as in this case spring to mind.

1) The main electrical equipment in rear E/E bay was not powered, hot chemical saturated air could possibly have caused issues with high powered equipment or the logic of tripping the APU battery while the aircraft was fully powered may not have worked properly.

2) Airflow, aircraft was not pressurised so air was able to expand and escape into cabin, this would not have been the case if in flight.

Quoting CM (Reply 22):

- There is no fire/smoke detection in the aft equipment bay, so no fire indication in the flight deck.

I find this quite incredible, I checked the A330 and it has FD fire indication of the avionics bay and in flight access where as the 787 has neither. No FD indication on the 787 seems sub optimal from a safety standpoint.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: s5daw
Posted 2013-01-09 05:57:06 and read 7565 times.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 46):
Airflow, aircraft was not pressurised so air was able to expand and escape into cabin, this would not have been the case if in flight.

I'm not sure this makes any sense.

Apparently the bay is not sealed from the cabin, or there would be no cabin smoke even in this incident.
Since it's not sealed, they must have the same pressure. So the situation would be exactly the same, as both, the cabin and the bay would be under equal pressure in both cases.

In fact, some sources say ZA002 had to be evacuated due to smoke in the cabin. In there was not even "fire".

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-09 06:21:27 and read 7396 times.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 44):
Did firemen's effort actually contribute to shorten the time it took the battery to burn?

I'd presume so. Certainly this must have been their goal.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 44):
How do you stop a fire that does not need external oxygen?

What do you mean by "external"? A fire that was reported to shoot flames 2 ft into the air does need the oxygen in the bay.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 44):
They took the battery out if I understood correctly, so that's good, but it had been burning for about 45 minutes a that time, right?

The WSJ, via Jon Ostrower, reported that, after the firemen put out the fire, the battery exploded, whatever that means.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-09 06:28:07 and read 7349 times.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 18):
Lets hope that the NTSB got copyright approval for this picture

As pointed out elsewhere, if it's their photo, they own the copyright.

The other question is trade secret and I suspect that these guys have worked with the OEM's long enough to know what sorts of photos might provoke trade secret response. This photo, showing rows of covered panels, hardly seems like a candidate for trade secret suppression and I don't think we'll hear any attempt to suppress it.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-09 06:28:11 and read 7397 times.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 23):
What if the Capt. of Swiss Air 111 had just diverted, instead of running a lengthy checklist? That incident would be just a distance memory,

No. The investigation concluded that if they had diverted immediately, the fire would have extended to the point the a/c was uncontrollable, or the crew incapacitated, before reaching the airport. It is true the lengthy checklist was discussed and changed, but the outcome even with a modern shorter checklist would have been the same.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 24):
Contrary to all the dramatic verbiage from the Boston Fire Department

Speaking as a fireman - we are as guilty as any human about "being dramatic". And, I must say - as Fire Chief, if I were faced with this situation, I would consider it a hairy one.
Enclosed space with limited access. Hazmat. High power density. Possible Class C or D - can't use water. Probably they will get mad if I use my sawzall to cut a big hole in the side.
My first response would be - no people on the a/c - we are talking about a hunk of machinery (albeit an expensive one). Nope - I'm not putting my crew in there. Particularly if I don't know what is burning. However, people get really nervous when fire fighters stand back - and this IS a really expensive hunk of machinery - maybe we'd better give it a try. But be CAREFUL. Remember - we are likely to make the fire worse by breaching containment before we make it better. (This is always a risk when we, for instance, ventilate the structure before sending crews in. If we do it wrong, or the fire is not where we thought - we can accelerate it so much we cannot extinguish it.)

Multi-million $ aircraft that I'm charged with saving.

Yes - as many have explained, it is likely they could have "let it burn" - which means to trust the containment systems and let the energy in the battery dissipate. (But - do I _know_ what is on fire? Did they _know_ it was a battery in containment? Probably not.) There are certainly cases where I have done exactly that. Certainly - in and EV or Hybrid car fire - I'm doing exactly that.
Back off and let'er rip - at most throw a chain on it and drag it out of the garage. It is called protecting the exposures. I'm not touching it - we don't carry Class D extinguishing agents (other than Dirt - which is what we joke Class D means.... in fact, dry sand is a good class D extinguisher - it absorbs the heat and smothers it.) However, in this case, that would be a gutsy call. Can you imagine the potential liability to the BFD if they had just stood back and let it burn, and it had escaped because, perhaps, the ventilating systems and cooling systems that would be running in flight were shut down on the ground.

Another thing to consider is access (the fire, not the compartment). To extinguish that a 'fire' contained in a battery compartment - the BFD would have to open that compartment. The containment measures on the battery would effectively limit fire fighter access. They would have to open it - which means the fire has escaped and the containment system has been defeated. That, also, is a gutsy call.

The net, net is that if I had a contained battery fire in a multimillion a/c - I have a very difficult decision to make. Do I trust the containment and let it burn out - perhaps being prepared to extinguish any extension that occurs (remember, I can't go spraying water around in there). Or do I breech the containment to attack the fire? A fire I know will be very hard to extinguish? (the way to extinguish a LiIon Battery fire is to bury it in very, very dry sand.... - hopefully outside).

A very tough scenario to face as a FF.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 27):
They'd have died anyway. This is an oft overlooked part of the TC report...even if they had diverted at the first sign of a problem the fire would have rendered the aircraft uncontrollable prior to reaching an airport.

Yep - except I'm not sure if they concluded the a/c was uncontrollable or the crew was incapacitated. I can't remember - need to go back and look.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 31):
Did the NTSB violate the ND agreement between Boeing and the Buyer?

No. The NTSB is not a signatory to that aggreement.

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
The panel by the NTSB investigators cap, does appear to show scorching as does the floor space although this could be residue from any retardant used. Therefore at some point, surely this "incident" could have become uncontained?

It is very likely the fire department breached the containment to access the fire. That's what we do.

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
Also, I am not sure of the shielding that is placed on the cables within an avionics bay but they don't look particularly insulated and at some point couldn't the flashpoint have been reached which would have lead to a secondary fire?

I'm 100% sure the insulation used is essentially fire proof - it certainly would not flash.

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
Isn't this is a bit like saying a match has finite energy to release.

Yes. But if the match is the only thing that is burning - it is contained - it will go out. That is the scenario being discussed.

Unfortunately for the NTSB - the fact that the BFD did intervene probably means there is damage to the containment system that they caused, and damage exterior that happened after it, which they will have to sort out. It will be a bit tough to determine - did the containment fail or did the fire department actions breach it.

When we are fighting a fire - we do _try_ to protect the origin if we can (for investigative purposes) - but if the origin is a battery in a compartment that we have to access - we are going to do that and will necessarily muddle the picture.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: BoeingVista
Posted 2013-01-09 06:28:47 and read 7361 times.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 47):
Apparently the bay is not sealed from the cabin, or there would be no cabin smoke even in this incident.
Since it's not sealed, they must have the same pressure. So the situation would be exactly the same, as both, the cabin and the bay would be under equal pressure in both cases.

We are told that the passenger cabin is directly pressurised and that it vents through the cabin floor to the lower lobe from which it vents out of the aircraft to the atmosphere this flow path is designed to stop smoke from the rear E/E bay entering the cabin.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 47):
In fact, some sources say ZA002 had to be evacuated due to smoke in the cabin. In there was not even "fire".

ZA002 lost all power apart from batteries and RAT, since 787 pressurisation is electrically driven by heavy motors we assume that they also lost the control of airflow thus smoke in the cabin.

[Edited 2013-01-09 06:51:52]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-09 06:43:27 and read 7260 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
(But - do I _know_ what is on fire? Did they _know_ it was a battery in containment? Probably not.)

That raises an interesting question. Are airport fire fighters trained on aircraft specifics? Is there any way that they could have been expected to know that box X in compartment Y is a battery and if it's the source of heat/smoke just leave it alone?

Many of the posts in this thread (e.g. UALWN's) seem to assume that the fire was uncontained without anyone touching it. If true, that would be cause for concern because it implies that the containment design failed. If however the responders did not have that specific knowledge about the , it's quite likely that they made things (somewhat) worse and not better by breaching the containment. It seems likely to me that the "two foot flames" (assuming they existed) were caused by the intervention and NOT by containment failure -- in which case the doom-and-gloom posters are simply wrong.

As for ZA002 smoke in the cabin, keep in mind that ZA002 was a flight test aircraft and had no "cabin" in the usual sense, so it probably didn't have the smoke containment capability either.

[Edited 2013-01-09 06:55:55]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: ncfc99
Posted 2013-01-09 06:50:27 and read 7239 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 21):
Ironically, the link posted earlier about the A380 incident sounded earily similar (to me) to the ZA002 (?) incident in San Antonio

If I have read the A380 article correctly and remember the ZA002 incident correctly, one incident resulted in a bang and a burning smell (with smoke?) and the other resulted in loss of cockpit displays and instruments. A huge difference to my untrained mind. Please explain why you think they are similar?

Quoting CM (Reply 22):
- The battery enclosure is designed to contain an event like this, so minimal collateral damage (as evidenced in the NTSB photo)

A quick question for you CM. If the battery is in an enclosure, surely no flames would be visible outside that enclosure? The fire department stated 2 foot long flames seen during the event. Flames that long in an electronics bay can't be good news.

[Edited 2013-01-09 07:00:20]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: s5daw
Posted 2013-01-09 06:51:26 and read 7226 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 52):
It seems likely to me that the "two foot flames" (assuming they existed) were caused by the intervention and NOT by containment failure -- in which case the doom-and-gloom posters are simply wrong

What gave you that impression?

"Flames about two feet (0.6 meter) high shot out of an avionics bay in the jet’s belly yesterday as the plane sat at a Logan International Airport gate before its next departure, and there was a small explosion, Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Chief Robert Donahue said in an interview."

Stick to the facts and don't make up your own story between the them. On the other hand, the explosion really has not been discussed at all...

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-09 07:00:13 and read 7135 times.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 54):
Stick to the facts and don't make up your own story between the them.

Nothing in that quote says whether the alleged flames happened before or after firefighter response. And we're now treating on-the-spot press reports as "facts"? Please. Besides, if those two foot flames really happened they sure were innocuous, judging from the posted photo.

Sticking to the facts is an excellent idea and I recommend it for all.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-09 07:10:18 and read 7095 times.

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
Therefore at some point, surely this "incident" could have become uncontained?

Right, but the ZA002 threads will tell you that there's nothing else in the area that can burn. Get damaged/scorched: yes. Burn/melt: not in the known scenarios. We didn't talk about the battery back then, but I think it's safe to presume that it was considered by Boeing, FAA, etc.

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
One final point. there was a comment made earlier which I have pasted below:

"Li-ion batteries have finite energy to release, so the event would have been self limiting"

Isn't this is a bit like saying a match has finite energy to release.

It's exactly the same, which is a good thing. You know the match might have enough energy to melt wax but not melt steel before it is consumed. You know the burning battery can melt X amount of material Y before it's totally consumed so you use X plus some margin of material Y.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-09 07:22:27 and read 7057 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 21):
If it was a defective battery, why on earth would you demand they ground the fleet?
Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 26):
Because there might a systematic fault made at the battery manufacturer and every single 787 APU battery might be faulty?


They didn't ground every A330 and A340 equipped with Thales C16195AA pitot tubes after AF447 because of the risk of in-cruise icing due to water ingress. And they didn't park the entire A330 fleet back in 2001 over the Goodrich 0851GR pitot tube. Instead, they issued an AD to have them changed over to a better model.

[Edited 2013-01-09 07:39:33]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-09 07:36:32 and read 7028 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
Speaking as a fireman

Outstanding post. Thanks very much for the insight and analysis.

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
Also, I am not sure of the shielding that is placed on the cables within an avionics bay but they don't look particularly insulated and at some point couldn't the flashpoint have been reached which would have lead to a secondary fire?
Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
I'm 100% sure the insulation used is essentially fire proof - it certainly would not flash.

        

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
"Li-ion batteries have finite energy to release, so the event would have been self limiting"

Isn't this is a bit like saying a match has finite energy to release.
Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
Yes. But if the match is the only thing that is burning - it is contained - it will go out. That is the scenario being discussed.

        

Quoting Jlager2 (Reply 43):
Therefore at some point, surely this "incident" could have become uncontained?

The architecture of the airplane is designed to contain this exact event, so no.

Quoting Aviaponcho (Reply 45):
By the way, is the NTSB photo a photo of P100 / P150 and P200 panels ?

See post #19 for an explanation of what is in the photo.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 47):
I'm not sure this makes any sense.

Apparently the bay is not sealed from the cabin, or there would be no cabin smoke even in this incident.
Since it's not sealed, they must have the same pressure. So the situation would be exactly the same, as both, the cabin and the bay would be under equal pressure in both cases.
Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 51):
We are told that the cabin is directly pressurised and that it vents through the cabin floor to the lower lobe from which it vents out of thr aircraft to the atmosphere hence thi flow is designed to stop smoke from the rear E/E bay entering the cabin.

        
Aircraft cabin air systems move hundreds of CFM of air into the cabin. Enough so all air in the cabin is replaced every few minutes. This air enters, moves through, and exits the cabin in a very precise manner. Air enters at the top of the cabin above the bins, moving inboard along the ceiling then downward on the center-line of the cabin to the floor. At teh floor of the cabin, the air moves outboard to the return air grills at the base of the sidewalls. From here, the air moves toward the outflow valves, including through the equipment bays. Any air which enters the equipment bays is vented via negative pressure and ducted directly to the outflow valve. In this way, the design ensures any smoke in the equipment bay is vented immediately overboard.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 47):
some sources say ZA002 had to be evacuated due to smoke in the cabin. In there was not even "fire".
Quoting PITingres (Reply 52):
As for ZA002 smoke in the cabin, keep in mind that ZA002 was a flight test aircraft and had no "cabin" in the usual sense, so it probably didn't have the smoke containment capability either.

        
ZA002 was a flight test aircraft without the normal interior installed. It had vented floors and an unsealed aft equipment bay which permitted smoke from the bay to enter the cabin.

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 51):
ZA002 lost all power apart from batteries and RAT, since 787 pressurisation is electrically driven by heavy motors we assume that they also lost the control of airflow thus smoke in the cabin.

The 787 retains positive in-flow for the cabin even with the loss of all electric cabin air compressors. The scoops which feed the CACs will continue to provide ram airflow to the packs even with loss of CACs. Also, the 787 is equipped with an "alternate air inlet" (located just below the left CAC inlet) which is specifically designed to preserve cabin air flow in the event of a dual pack failure.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
Did they _know_ it was a battery in containment? Probably not.

Maybe not, but I think they probably would have known this. Batteries would be pretty high on the awareness list of aircraft firefighters and all aircraft batteries have some kind of containment case around them. I suspect this crew would have known a number of things about the 787 before they went in, including battery type & location. They may have made a deliberate choice to breach the containment in an effort to get retardant on the fire. I'm not sure that's the best decision, but I wasn't the one asked to go into a very confined space and deal with a very problematic firefighting scenario, so it's hard to Monday-morning-quarterback their effort. In the end, their decisions seem to have been OK; the airplane appears from the photo to have suffered minimal damage, which was the goal of their effort.

Quoting ncfc99 (Reply 53):
A quick question for you CM. If the battery is in an enclosure, surely no flames would be visible outside that enclosure? The fire department stated 2 foot long flames seen during the event. Flames that long in an electronics bay can't be good news.

I'm not sure we can say "no flames would be visible outside that enclosure", as the battery case is vented. However, it seems from the photo there were not 2 foot long flames while the battery was in its position in the rack as there is virtually no fire evidence immediately above the battery position in the APU equipment rack.



[Edited 2013-01-09 07:45:01]

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: ncfc99
Posted 2013-01-09 07:47:15 and read 6892 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 58):
Quoting ncfc99 (Reply 53):A quick question for you CM. If the battery is in an enclosure, surely no flames would be visible outside that enclosure? The fire department stated 2 foot long flames seen during the event. Flames that long in an electronics bay can't be good news.
It is clear from the photo that there were not 2 foot long flames while the battery was in its position in the rack - there is virtually no fire evidence immediately above the battery position in the APU rack.

Thanks for the reply CM. rcair1 posted above whilst I was typing that firemen are not immune from being over dramatic and that the enclosure may well have been breached by the firefighters. If the enclosure was breached, maybe that produced the flames. Had it been left alone, as it would in flight, there would have been no flames.

Thanks for your knowledgable previous post, particulaly the guided tour of the offending bay.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-09 08:19:33 and read 6798 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 52):
Many of the posts in this thread (e.g. UALWN's) seem to assume that the fire was uncontained without anyone touching it.

Wel,, I really don't know, of course. I'm just going with the words of the fire chief:

Quoting s5daw (Reply 54):
"Flames about two feet (0.6 meter) high shot out of an avionics bay in the jet’s belly yesterday as the plane sat at a Logan International Airport gate before its next departure, and there was a small explosion, Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Chief Robert Donahue said in an interview."

Flames two feet high and an explosion. Hopefully, the fire chief didn't "forget" to mention that the flames only occurred because of their actions. But maybe I'm too naive....

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-09 08:27:50 and read 6749 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 60):
Flames two feet high and an explosion. Hopefully, the fire chief didn't "forget" to mention that the flames only occurred because of their actions.


Looking at the picture of the area, it's clear we're not talking a raging inferno on the order of SR111 or SA295, even if the feeling I get from some posters is that any fire aboard an airplane will always grow to that level.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Aviaponcho
Posted 2013-01-09 08:37:51 and read 6680 times.

Quoting CM (Reply 58):
Quoting Aviaponcho (Reply 45):
By the way, is the NTSB photo a photo of P100 / P150 and P200 panels ?

See post #19 for an explanation of what is in the photo.

Sorry, I miss it (and as usual I was wrong-sided ...)

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-09 08:43:09 and read 6652 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 61):
Looking at the picture of the area, it's clear we're not talking a raging inferno on the order of SR111 or SA295,

Absolutely. But still, flames two feet high are, well, worrisome. Particularly, if they were there when the firemen arrived, and not created by their actions.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-09 08:44:56 and read 6646 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 52):
That raises an interesting question. Are airport fire fighters trained on aircraft specifics? Is there any way that they could have been expected to know that box X in compartment Y is a battery and if it's the source of heat/smoke just leave it alone?

Yes they are trained in a/c specifics to a point. I'm sure they have been able to see one - and maybe poke around a bit. Whether they know this level of detail on a 787 I'm not sure.

Example - my department had major helicopter ops in our area this summer following a major wildland fire. The ships - Bell Huey's - were dropping seed, straw and wood chips as part of an aerial mulching operation over thousands of acres. They operated 8-10 hours per day, 2 - 4 ships, 7 days/week for 2 months (figure out how many flight hours that is), with hot refueling. All of this operation out of off-airport helispots.

As part of that operation - I arraigned special training with the crews. We met with the pilots, inspected the ships and learned about emergency procedures - how to shut down the ships, access interior, where engine air intakes were, fuel, etc. Specific training on these ships. We do the same with the medivac companies with work with.

Think about it this way. Even in a busy fire department, the amount of time you spend on a 'working fire' is very small. Fire fighters 'wait' for a working fire (kind of a strange mixture of dread and anticipation). Wildland fire fighters often spend more than structural. Structural more than ARFF.

So - what do you do?

You spend your time training - incessantly.

That said - I'm not ARFF (pretty much the only aircraft in my department's area are Helicopters - medivac and wildland) - so I don't know how detailed they get on aircraft specifics.
I would not be surprised if there are 1 or 2 on a crew/department who specialize in specific aircraft. Those will learn far more about a particular aircraft and then that information is used in 2 ways. During training, and during response (if they happen to be on shift).

An example. We train rescue/extrication on cars. We train "in general" and consider specifics of airbag locations (big deal these days), hybrid batteries, EV, alternative fuel systems. If a department member has a particular model - we will often go over that vehicle in training. However, we don't try to learn all the specifics on every car. We cannot learn how to disconnect the hybrid battery on every model of a Ford Explorer Hybrid - much less all the models from all the manf. An extrication specialist may, but that will be a person, not all fire fighters.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 52):
Many of the posts in this thread (e.g. UALWN's) seem to assume that the fire was uncontained without anyone touching it. If true, that would be cause for concern because it implies that the containment design failed.

I would be very careful about drawing conclusions. We know they pulled the battery and put it outside to extinguish it.
We've heard about the battery "exploding" - which by the way can happen with a LiIon battery fire when it gets wet (exactly why you don't really want to put water on it.) We've heard about 2 ft flames, but not when or where. I did not see evidence of 2 ft flames in the compartment photo - so I'm suspecting outside, but I don't know that.

Quoting CM (Reply 58):
Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
Did they _know_ it was a battery in containment? Probably not.
Quoting CM (Reply 58):
Maybe not, but I think they probably would have known this. Batteries would be pretty high on the awareness list of aircraft firefighters and all aircraft batteries have some kind of containment case around them. I suspect this crew would have known a number of things about the 787 before they went in, including battery type & location.

I should have been clear. What I meant was that they probably didn't know the fire was in the battery - at least for quite a while. I'm sure they knew there were batteries in the EE compartment. And at some point they figured out that it was in a battery. But initially, they just knew there was heat in the EE compartment (from TIC).

It is really a sequence thing. First - are people safe. Second - where, physically, is the fire. Third - is it safe to go there. Fourth - what is burning. Fifth - can we effectively fight the fire, and how.

In this case - they 'knew' people were out (but I'm sure they ran a search anyway). They had smoke - so they used TIC to find the heat source. Then they knew they had a compartment fire in the aft EE bay, but not what was burning. Then they determined the fire was a battery. Effectively attack the fire means move it outside and use class D.

By the way - I'm VERY impressed the BFD was able to move this burning battery outside. Good work.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-09 09:03:57 and read 6514 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 63):
But still, flames two feet high are, well, worrisome.

They are worrisome, but they must be taken in context.

If one knew nothing about the 787 and just heard the term "two foot high flames in the belly", I would find it reasonable for one to be worried about how serious the incident was.

Fortunately, a number of people have done a masterful job of providing relevant and pertinent information on many aspects of this incident. They explained where the APU battery is located, how it's installed and what is around it. They've explained how airflow occurs within the bay and the cabin. They've explained why an Li-Ion battery can overheat and even catch fire and also explained that once it catches fire, the battery has a finite time it will burn before fuel exhaustion self-extinguishes it. And they have explained what is involved in extinguishing the fire if you can get to it.

Based on all this information, the battery did not immediately burst into flames and those flames, when they did start, did not start at a height of two feet. And even when those flames did finally reach a height of two feet, their effect on the surrounding area appears to have not been overly destructive based on the picture of the bay showing the blackened areas. Certainly not to the level of being at immediate risk of destroying the bay and making the plane no longer airworthy.

With the benefit of this information, one should, IMO, be less worried about how serious the issue was. Certainly not to the point of being dismissive of any seriousness, but also not so worried that they would not fly on the plane* or believe that the proper course of action is an immediate grounding of the fleet.


* - That being said, since some people won't fly on an airplane because of the width of the seat or the height of the cabin, we should not be ridiculing them for their personal beliefs on the safety of the plane provided they limit that fear to themselves and not use it as a basis to demand that nobody be allowed to fly on the family.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Aquila3
Posted 2013-01-09 09:05:43 and read 6508 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
A fire I know will be very hard to extinguish? (the way to extinguish a LiIon Battery fire is to bury it in very, very dry sand.... - hopefully outside).

A very tough scenario to face as a FF.

Very informative post, thank you.
But I have a specific FF question.
Would not CO2 be effective against a Li fire?
At least it will cool it down, and it does not contain water (that reacts with alkaline metals like Lithium).

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-09 09:08:19 and read 6515 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 60):
Quoting s5daw (Reply 54):
"Flames about two feet (0.6 meter) high shot out of an avionics bay in the jet’s belly yesterday as the plane sat at a Logan International Airport gate before its next departure, and there was a small explosion, Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Chief Robert Donahue said in an interview."

Flames two feet high and an explosion. Hopefully, the fire chief didn't "forget" to mention that the flames only occurred because of their actions. But maybe I'm too naive....

I'm a Fire Chief. I've been interviewed.

Two comments.
I'm misquoted more often than not - and almost never because of any intentional omission by the reporter. Just happens. They are often taking complex discussions and condensing for space/time. Often the copy editors who take the report and then put it into print will introduce errors that the reporter never sees. Even the same report by the same reporter at the same news agency can be wrong. This summer I was interviewed about my FF's who lost their homes in a wildland fire in my area. The print version was correct. The online version said that I was one of the FF's who lost his home - which was incorrect (I suddenly got a bunch of calls from concerned family/friends). Same reporter. Same news organization. Same interview. Two versions.

Second.
As a Fire Chief, I would report make statements about facts with as little emotion or bias as possible. I would work hard to do that - and I know other Chiefs do as well. As I read the quote above - these are not the words a Fire Chief would use. They are words a reporter would use when summarizing what a Fire Chief said.

So - I'd really want to reserve judgement on what happened.

One question - if there were 2 foot flames coming out of that battery - I see little possibility of the fire crew being able to grab the battery and put it outside. 2 foot flame front is big! In wildland fire - we talk about direct attack of a fire - that means walking up to the burning fire with a hand tool and building a line - and we generally say you cannot do direct attack on any flame front the is greater than 1 foot. (I'm not talking about spraying water from 20 ft away, I talking about walking up to the fire with hand tools.)

2 ft flames in a compartment (room) fire is also very large. If I have a chair that is on fire with 2 foot flames - I'm not going to go over and grab it - I'm going to spray water on it - not an option in the LiIon battery fire.

If I have a battery with 2 foot flames - it's going to be really tough to grab it, disconnect it and wrastle it out of the bay. That make me thin the "2 foot flames" were either outside, or intermittent/short term. The third possibility is they (the flames) were localized and you could dump a bottle of class D on it to knock them down and then remove the battery.

I would agree that unconstrained 2 food flames - especially if continuous - on an aircraft anywhere (except the engines) is of concern.

I would also say that one difference with the 787 is the power density managed by it's electrical systems. There is a lot of electrical energy there. That said, there is exactly the same amount of energy in other planes, it is just split between electrical, hydrolic and thermal (bleed air) so the density in any given 'energy system' is lower on a conventional plane. I'm sure that electrical power density was a major design factor.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-01-09 09:19:45 and read 6437 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 65):
And even when those flames did finally reach a height of two feet, their effect on the surrounding area appears to have not been overly destructive based on the picture of the bay showing the blackened areas. Certainly not to the level of being at immediate risk of destroying the bay and making the plane no longer airworthy.

But that was after the intervention of the fire brigade, which, one hopes, helped mitigate the damage.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 67):

Thanks a lot for your comment. I have also been interviewed countless times on science matters, and, well, the outcome is decidedly a mixed bag.... Having said that, the words attributed to the fire chief don't look particularly spectacular: there were two-foot high flames shooting out of the bay, and there was a small explosion. I don't see why we should doubt these statements.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-01-09 09:32:47 and read 6360 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 68):
But that was after the intervention of the fire brigade, which, one hopes, helped mitigate the damage.

True, but we also don't know how much longer the flames would have been that high as the battery consumed itself and ran out of fuel to sustain the fire at that magnitude. We also need to know if anything else around the battery itself was flammable and if it was, it's level of flammability and how such things being on fire affected the rest of the plane.

(This assumes the flames were ever that high based on rcair1's comments).

Within the context of the information provided at this time, I don't believe this incident was one that if it had happened while in flight some distance from the nearest diversionary point would have risked, much less ensured, the loss of the airframe.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-09 09:38:27 and read 6320 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
Can you imagine the potential liability to the BFD if they had just stood back and let it burn, and it had escaped because, perhaps, the ventilating systems and cooling systems that would be running in flight were shut down on the ground.

Thanks for your comments! I'll inject both Boston FD and Massport FD were involved. I imagine Massport in particular has a lot of hazmat training, given their responsibilities.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 64):
We know they pulled the battery and put it outside to extinguish it.

I hadn't read this yet.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: F9animal
Posted 2013-01-09 09:39:44 and read 6333 times.

LOL! I have to crack up at those saying this was not a fire, and downplaying the severity of it. If my oven has a fire with flames two feet high... And I do nothing to contain it... The chances of my house burning down are probable.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PITingres
Posted 2013-01-09 09:47:08 and read 6259 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 68):
Having said that, the words attributed to the fire chief don't look particularly spectacular: there were two-foot high flames shooting out of the bay, and there was a small explosion. I don't see why we should doubt these statements.

How about:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 67):
As I read the quote above - these are not the words a Fire Chief would use. They are words a reporter would use when summarizing what a Fire Chief said.

and

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 67):
if there were 2 foot flames coming out of that battery - I see little possibility of the fire crew being able to grab the battery and put it outside.

which they did do, did they not?

The bottom line is whether containment failed, because that's going to determine the seriousness of the event. From the damage photo and the initial NTSB statements (which are admittedly a bit unclear to me), plus rcair1's insight into the firefighter side of things, I'm thinking that the containment did NOT fail, and had this happened in flight it would have been a minor incident and not a major one.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-09 09:48:21 and read 6258 times.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 71):
If my oven has a fire with flames two feet high... And I do nothing to contain it... The chances of my house burning down are probable.

Except in this case the battery was in a containment unit. If your oven was built up to a fire containment standard, it would be silly for you to breech it unless the containment unit itself had failed.

We simply don't know the answers to many different possible scenarios involved in this incident yet, so it's too early to say "I would have done it differently."

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: frmrCapCadet
Posted 2013-01-09 10:26:23 and read 6070 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 67):
I'm a Fire Chief. I've been interviewed.Two comments.I'm misquoted more often than not - and almost never because of any intentional omission by the reporter. Just happens. They are often taking complex discussions and condensing for space/time. Often the copy editors who take the report and then put it into print will introduce errors that the reporter never sees. Even the same report by the same reporter at the same news agency can be wrong. This summer I was interviewed about my FF's who lost their homes in a wildland fire in my area. The print version was correct. The online version said that I was one of the FF's who lost his home - which was incorrect (I suddenly got a bunch of calls from concerned family/friends). Same reporter. Same news organization. Same interview. Two versions.Second.As a Fire Chief, I would report make statements about facts with as little emotion or bias as possible. I would work hard to do that - and I know other Chiefs do as well. As I read the quote above - these are not the words a Fire Chief would use. They are words a reporter would use when summarizing what a Fire Chief said.

Keep this quote in mind when you see some of the attacks on reporters. Most of them try to do a good job. They are overworked, and newspapers are going broke and laying off people left and right.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 71):
LOL! I have to crack up at those saying this was not a fire, and downplaying the severity of it. If my oven has a fire with flames two feet high... And I do nothing to contain it... The chances of my house burning down are probable.

I have had flames in my oven during the 'cleaning cycle'. I don't think they were two feet high but I would not have considered breaking the containment devices on a self-cleaning oven. And the house was never in danger of burning down. But I did watch carefully until the flames dies down. And I don't leave the house while that cycle is on.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: pygmalion
Posted 2013-01-09 10:53:05 and read 5935 times.

everything inside the pressure vessel of the airplane.. basically everything inside the fuselage... is tested to be burn proof and self extingushing. ALL materials in the pressurized section of the airplane undergo a flame test and are certified to not sustain a fire if ignited under a pretty serious flame source. The seats, the bins, the sidewalls, the carpet, decals, wiring, LRUs... everything gets tested.

The only thing that is flammable on an airplane is the stuff the passengers bring on and the cargo in the bays. The cargo is isolated by smoke and fire barriers from the passenger compartments. The EE bays etc are not.

For any heat source/fire in the airplane, the fire will not sustain if the flame/heat source is removed.

As you can see from the photo of the airplane in post 17, if there was a huge fire/explosion 2 foot flames etc in the area of the fire would be heat discolored or show smudging from the smoke. The huge fire explosion that everyone is flaming about, didnt even char the surrounding area.

The APU battery was located about 4 inches in front of 'the NTSB investigators left hand withthe flashlight. It has been removed in that photo. His hand and flashlight are right about where the battery connectors would be. The wires next to and 4-5 inches away from the side of the battery, the equipment shelf and wiring directly above the battery are not charred or even discolored. The only apparent damage is to the panel under the battery area.

This was not a raging fire ball or even a huge heat source.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-09 10:58:50 and read 5896 times.

Ok, the extension of the original thread contains the Seattle times story:

http://seattletimes.com/html/busines...84827_787fireinvestigationxml.html

which starts with:

Quote:

The fire aboard an empty 787 Dreamliner parked at Boston's airport Monday left the floor of the jet's electronics bay blackened and plastic dripping underneath — and that was after firefighters ripped out and tossed a burning high-energy, lithium-ion battery onto the tarmac, according to a person with inside knowledge of the investigation.

That statement doesn't jive with the exact quote from the fire chief above, where he says they went into the plane twice to extinguish the battery fire. On the other hand, the NTSB photo doesn't show the kind of damage that "two foot flames" coming out of the battery would have made, and that would be consistent with the battery being removed from the plane.

Quoting s5daw (Reply 77):
That's why it's better to wait for the facts, or stick just to whatever information there is, rather than accepting new *possibilities* as facts.

S'pose you are right, but it'd be nice if the stories more or less agreed with each other.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 75):
Keep this quote in mind when you see some of the attacks on reporters. Most of them try to do a good job. They are overworked, and newspapers are going broke and laying off people left and right.

Right, but if they embellish stories (and I have no way to know this yet), no one will believe what they write.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-01-09 11:06:40 and read 5876 times.

Quoting ncfc99 (Reply 53):
Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 21):Ironically, the link posted earlier about the A380 incident sounded earily similar (to me) to the ZA002 (?) incident in San Antonio
If I have read the A380 article correctly and remember the ZA002 incident correctly, one incident resulted in a bang and a burning smell (with smoke?) and the other resulted in loss of cockpit displays and instruments. A huge difference to my untrained mind. Please explain why you think they are similar?

I'll pass on getting into a technical discussion on the two incidents. My observation was the similarities regarding the descriptions used in the narratives - no fire but with charring, etc. It's really meaningless except that some seem to go into these threads with a desire to paint the worst-case scenario of the 787. In the ZA002 case, how many posts/threads are still going around about fire vs no fire, what's a fire, charring if there's no fire, etc etc etc. From my cursory glance at the A380 incident, it had some similarities in that regard, yet there doesn't seem to be any argument about that event. Apparently on one type you can have charring without a fire but on another type charring proves it's a fire. yada yada yada

I posted my comment because I found there to be descriptive similarities. Ironic in light of the bashing of the 787 events here on a.net but certainly not technically related in the manner in which you might think I'm implying.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 68):
Having said that, the words attributed to the fire chief don't look particularly spectacular: there were two-foot high flames shooting out of the bay, and there was a small explosion. I don't see why we should doubt these statements.

No reason to doubt them. At the end of the day, some will take those comments and run with them while others will choose to wait.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 71):
LOL! I have to crack up at those saying this was not a fire, and downplaying the severity of it. If my oven has a fire with flames two feet high... And I do nothing to contain it... The chances of my house burning down are probable.

Are you serious? Who is claiming that there wasn't a fire? I must have missed it.

Frankly, as someone in the industry, I'm pretty surprised to see you relating an oven fire in your home to an incident in a modern airliner. I would give you a hell of a lot more credit than that given your experience in the industry.

-Dave

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: AirlineCritic
Posted 2013-01-09 11:42:30 and read 5761 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 52):
Many of the posts in this thread (e.g. UALWN's) seem to assume that the fire was uncontained without anyone touching it. If true, that would be cause for concern because it implies that the containment design failed. If however the responders did not have that specific knowledge about the , it's quite likely that they made things (somewhat) worse and not better by breaching the containment. It seems likely to me that the "two foot flames" (assuming they existed) were caused by the intervention and NOT by containment failure -- in which case the doom-and-gloom posters are simply wrong.

Containment. The sequence of events started when someone detected smoke in the cabin. This would logically seem to imply that containment was breached in some sense at least. Perhaps the container holds physical expansion and explosions, but not smoke? Or perhaps the hot container got nearby materials to generate smoke. In any case, while the battery may have been contained, the entire effect was demonstrably not. We could of course argue how dangerous the smoke was, but...

Quoting CM (Reply 58):

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 50):
Speaking as a fireman

Outstanding post. Thanks very much for the insight and analysis.

Indeed. +1

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: CM
Posted 2013-01-09 12:05:23 and read 5701 times.

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 82):
Containment. The sequence of events started when someone detected smoke in the cabin. This would logically seem to imply that containment was breached in some sense at least. Perhaps the container holds physical expansion and explosions, but not smoke?

The way a Lithium-ion battery reacts during a runaway event requires venting of pressure, but containment of explosive pressures, as well as the ability to act as a thermal barrier. This video shows why there was so much smoke. It also makes it clear why the case would need to be vented. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pizFs...ss&feature=player_detailpage#t=28s

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-09 12:30:20 and read 5599 times.

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 80):
posted my comment because I found there to be descriptive similarities.

There are descriptive similarities applied to Babe Ruth bars and turds (see "Caddyshack") but they are two very different things, so I have no idea what you are on about.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Kaiarahi
Posted 2013-01-09 14:12:41 and read 5320 times.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 31):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 27):
If NTSB took the picture, they'd have the copyright. No issue.

Strange...

Did the NTSB violate the ND agreement between Boeing and the Buyer?

Not strange in the least. The NTSB has statutory investigative and disclosure powers that have nothing to do with, and are immune from, the intellectual property regime that governs the relationship between civil parties. That said, I imagine (based on my experience with safety boards in other jurisdictions) that the NTSB, as a matter of professional courtesy, likely showed the photo to Boeing before publication and asked if Boeing had any issue with its disclosure.

I note that, unlike the ZA002 photos, whose copyright belonged to Boeing, this photo does not disclose the internal structure of the P100 / P200 panels.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 71):
If my oven has a fire with flames two feet high...

Then the best thing you can do is leave it closed (i.e. contained). Let me try a very simple analogy: if I'm chefing in a restaurant and I get a flare up, the best thing I can do is to leave the pan exactly where it is, because the extractor hood and associated equipment is designed to deal with it. The worst thing I can do is try and run through the kitchen or restaurant with the flaming pan to try and get it outside. (I mean no disrespect to rcair1 and the BOS firefighters who were dealing for the first time with a relatively unknown plane/environment.)

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2013-01-09 15:01:14 and read 5180 times.

Quoting flood (Reply 28):
what the photo shows is minimal collateral damage with the added benefit of the Boston FD

Maybe or maybe not. As CM said, the combustion should be self-limiting by definition and design.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-10 05:18:47 and read 4449 times.

Reposted with no reference to deleted posts, since I think we need info on what is being reported in the press.

I have some doubts about the "two foot flame" comment, and about the battery being removed before extinguished.

I did a bunch of googling and the most detailed quote I could find was:

Quote:

"Upon arrival, we observed a heavy smoke condition in the entire cabin," said Bob Donahue, chief of the Massport Fire Rescue Department. "We found a fire condition about midship in the avionics compartment underneath. We advanced an aggressive, offensive fire attack."

"We did have a flare-up. There was a small explosion -- one of the batteries -- and we again went in with a secondary attack and were again able to knock it down," Donahue said.

Note no mention of removing the battery, also a reference to going into the avionics bay twice.

Ref: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/07/travel/dreamliner-fire/index.html

As for the two foot flame comment, it's in a Bloomberg report widely circulated:

Quote:

Flames about two feet high shot out of an avionics bay in the jet’s belly Monday after passengers disembarked and the plane sat at a Logan International Airport gate before its next departure, and there was a small explosion, Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Chief Robert Donahue said.

Ref: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/...boeing-dreamliner-flight-spurs-us/

I find it pretty strange that one detailed quote doesn't mention the two foot flames and another less detailed one did.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-01-10 06:29:09 and read 4288 times.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 72):
and

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 67):
if there were 2 foot flames coming out of that battery - I see little possibility of the fire crew being able to grab the battery and put it outside.

which they did do, did they not?

Yes they did. I also have no doubt that there were 2 ft flames at some point.

What I was trying to illustrate is that '2 ft flames' can mean a lot of things. It is also not clear when, where and how long that flame existed and the duration. It could have been a sudden, short fire - maybe even gasses generated by the battery flashing - and that would fit the defn we have of the "2 ft flames shooting out".

My point was if there was a sustained fire at the battery in the bay - with 2 ft flames - that is a large fire and, in that case, I think removing the battery would be very difficult and would take PPE beyond the normal bunker gear we wear. Does that mean they could not have had a fire fighter in a high intensity suit standing in the 2 ft flames - no, but I think it unlikely.

Base on that - my hypothesis (and it is only that), is that the 2ft flames referred to were localized or short lived. Not that they did not happen.

Of course, I _know_ nothing.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-10 07:41:21 and read 4136 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 84):
Base on that - my hypothesis (and it is only that), is that the 2ft flames referred to were localized or short lived. Not that they did not happen.

I can go with that. Looking again at the photo in #17, I see what could be soot on the vertical shelving behind the gentleman's right shoulder.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 84):
Of course, I _know_ nothing.

Yes. Unfortunately the press reports aren't particularly clear or consistent. Hopefully there will be a NTSB report with more details.

Topic: RE: WSJ-787's Etops Rating At Risk Due To Batteries?
Username: PlanesNTrains
Posted 2013-01-10 08:00:25 and read 4066 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 80):
Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 80): posted my comment because I found there to be descriptive similarities.
There are descriptive similarities applied to Babe Ruth bars and turds (see "Caddyshack") but they are two very different things, so I have no idea what you are on about.

I tried to PM a reply twice but it just errors out - not sure why. I'm not really sure where the "turd" comment needed to come from? You could have just as easily skipped my comment entirely.

My initial post was replying to F9Animal's "...so many fires.." reference to the 787. I was pointing to an A380 incident with a similar "charring, but no fire" description as ZA002 had, which was clearly not a fire. It wasn't that the same thing caused it, it was that there wasn't any fire.

Anyhow, there's your "turd" explanation.

-Dave


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/