iowaman
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FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:05 pm

Please continue the discussion here as the previous thread was quite lengthy.

I politely ask members to avoid personal attacks and flamebait to keep the quality of our forums up. Part 4 required a lot of moderating deletions due to these issues.

Previous thead:
FAA Grounds 787 Part 4 (by iowaman Jan 21 2013 in Civil Aviation)

[Edited 2013-01-23 12:08:18]
 
pygmalion
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:21 pm

Quote:

OK, I am sure that there are a dozen reasons why what I am about to suggest is a horrible idea,

We all know that different objects can be deployed from the aircraft in-flight. RAT, landing gear ect.

Most of the concern centers on "battery fire while x hours from possible landing". presumably over open ocean or artic landscape.

While this is not an 'easy' fix, what about having the batteries in future designs be in a belly location where they can be jettisoned? The most contained battery fire is the one that is 30K below and 10 miles back. This would require breakaway connectors and some additional seams on the exterior surface....

Bessides the fact the FAA has a really really bad aversion to parts coming off aircraft especially over inhabited areas... no one wants a 50+ pound object coming through the roof of their house.

the fault tree for the jettison system would have to preclude a jettison failure from causing its own incident especially if it failed during takeoff/landing or during an engine failure etc where the battery was required to provide standby power to continue safe flight...

adding a bunch more complexity to a system is rarely a good way to mitigate risk
 
flyingcello
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:22 pm

What about a very brief overview of the current position to start the new thread off?
 
alfablue
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:33 pm

Quoting flyingcello (Reply 2):

What about a very brief overview of the current position to start the new thread off?
http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...to-flight-20130123,0,1747659.story


QUOTE:

"The fact that such electrical system-related incidents would occur consecutively, purely from my perspective, could not have been expected. We are finding it difficult trying to figure out what kind of investigative stance we should take."

The investigation has also renewed scrutiny on the FAA's 2007 decision to let Boeing use a highly flammable battery technology on the 787. A U.S. Senate committee will hold a hearing in coming weeks to examine aviation safety oversight and the FAA's decision, a congressional aide said on Tuesday.

"I can't really say anything about the timeframe of the investigation. The NTSB is really the only authorized authority in the U.S. to talk about this investigation and they made some recent statements, but I can't speculate on timeframe," Sinnett said Wednesday in recorded remarks supplied to Reuters.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, appearing at the same event, said the review was looking at the 787's certification, manufacturing and assembly processes, and that he could not speculate on an end date.

For at least one Chinese customer, the uncertainty about the Dreamliner's production and delivery schedule has meant delays in launching new routes.

"Frankly, it's a little disappointing the aircraft has been delayed so many times," said Chen Feng, chairman of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd parent HNA Group, in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "We still think it's a good aircraft, but this has had some effect on our planning."

AlfaBlue
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:34 pm

Just checked Boeing's stock price and was pleasantly surprised to see that it has help up pretty well through the grounding so far. Looks to be above their 6-month average, and has actually been trending up through the day today. So the market hasn't lost much confidence yet.
 
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airmagnac
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:51 pm

Quote:
Many of the people that share this attitude are shameless fans of BA, engineers or designers
Quote:
The incompetence and infallibility complex of pilots are what have caused most noteworthy crashes of commercial airliners in the last 50 years.
.

Enough of this confrontational BS !! Please !

You people make it sound like engineers and pilots are in a permanent war against each other. That's not true, they are the two sides to the same coin.
The primary job of the engineer is to design and build an airplane that will not put the pilot in a precarious situation
The pilot's primary job is to not bring his airplane into a dangerous position.

But both groups are made of fallible human beings. BOTH OF THEM.

So the engineers have to also design the plane to continue to work in case of a failure. Either introduced in the design & manufacturing, or by the pilot.
And pilots have to be able to keep their arcraft out of a mess even if they make a mistake or if the plane is not functioning nominally.

IOW the pilots and the engineers have to work TOGETHER. And when they fail, when the dreaded accident happens, then they fail TOGETHER. Point me to one single accident which involves only the design, or only the pilots ; I don't know one.

Pilots and engineers have been complementing each other, have been for a hundred years, and will continue to be so. And the result is that we have thousands of aircraft flying all around the globe, transporting each day the equivalent of the population of London, with a very good level of safety. Please keep that in mind before you start another "it's his fault" - "no, it's his fault" argument worthy of a 3 year old. Or before you start accusing people of being incompetant morons, or corrupt greedy bags of s**t.

Both pilots and engineers have highly complicated decisions to make, in their respective areas of competence. Both use an advanced set of knowledge & skills. But in the end both are working to make aviation as economical as possible while maintaining a high level of safety. And as I said, so far the results are rather good.

It is normal to not understand the complex situations they study, and the resulting choices they make. And it is your right to choose not to try to understand.
But if you so choose, please refrain from confontation and mud throwing against those who prefer to understand and solve the problem

Rant over. Carry on.

[Edited 2013-01-23 13:21:20]
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rcair1
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:35 pm

Quoting Pygmalion (Reply 1):
no one wants a 50+ pound

ah- em - a 50+ pound flaming object.....

This....

Quoting alfablue (Reply 3):
QUOTE:

"The fact that such electrical system-related incidents would occur consecutively, purely from my perspective, could not have been expected. We are finding it difficult trying to figure out what kind of investigative stance we should take."

is not this....

Quoting flyingcello (Reply 2):
What about a very brief overview of the current position to start the new thread off?

Keep reading...

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 5):
You people make it sound like engineers and pilots are in a permanent war against each other.

Boy - I'm in trouble. I'm both a pilot and an engineer. And I have a number of engineer friends who are pilots. On top of that I'm a fire fighter who deals with failures of both pilots and engineers. Boy - I must by skitzo.

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 5):
Enough of this confrontational BS !! Please !

Thank you for your rant.

Quoting flyingcello (Reply 2):
What about a very brief overview of the current position to start the new thread off?

The current position - of the investigation, not the a.net flame fest.

After 2 incidents involving Li-Ion battery failures on Boeing 787's in 9 days, the FAA issued an order grounding 787 flights while investigation into the cause and effect of the failures is being conducted.

The JAL incident involved the APU battery and occurred while the aircraft was parked in Boston. The battery, for reasons unknown, failed and apparently went into a thermal runaway condition that caused it to burn within its containment vessel. The battery was removed and extinguished by fire fighters.

In the ANA incident the aircraft was in flight and pilots received a warning of a failure in the main "ship" backup battery and detected an unusual order. The pilots made an emergency landing and the a/c was evacuated. Investigation showed the ship battery, again for unknown reasons, had failed in a mode that caused it to burn in it's containment structure. I'm unaware of any action taken by fire crews in the ANA case. In the ANA case, electrolyte from the battery escaped the containment - though it is unclear from public information the extent of that (lots of statements, not much data).

The two batteries are identical, but located in different parts of the a/c. The APU battery is used only to start the APU when other sources are not available. The ship battery is used for backup when other sources fail. It is not used in normal flight operations.

The batteries consist of 8 Li-Ion cells manufactured by Yuasa and packaged by Thales to Boeing's specification - including a containment structure. The containment system also includes a smoke evacuation system for the two bays where the batteries are located to prevent smoke from getting into the cabin during flight. That system operated by causing air flow from the cabins through the bays and out of the a/c via outflow valves. In the case smoke is detected in either bay - the system is re-configured to increase that flow rate. That reconfiguration will not occur automatically in the in the presence of smell (a bad odor will not cause it), but it can be configured that way by pilots.

At the current point - the investigation continues. Data from DFDR on the ships indicate neither battery was overcharged. leading to some speculation that the cause was a defect in the batteries themselves. However, no findings have been released and we really don't know the detail that the FAA or other agencies are looking at.

------
Believe it or not - that is about it. We had 2 battery fires. Neither appeared to have endangered the a/c - however, concern about the battery, charging system, containment, etc. is such that the FAA is concerned and grounded the aircraft until the incidents can be fully understood and it can be ascertained that there is or is not a flight safety issue. The grounding obviously presumes there is and is the safe course of action. At such point as analysis reveals what happened and the potential impact of the incidents becomes clear, such action as is deemed needed will be ordered by way of AD, completed and the a/c will, presumably, return to flight.

Neither I - nor anybody on this forum, or probably the FAA/Boeing/NTSB yet know the cause/effect or actions required.

It is hard to believe the actual facts that lie behind 5 threads is that brief. The vast majority of discussion here is in the form of people expressing various opinions and adding their bit of knowledge about systems and actions.
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:38 pm

I am now getting quite skeptical about the new UA DEN-NRT 787 launch date for March 31. Something tells me (a gut feeling) that this may not happen. I hope I will be very, very wrong.
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KELPkid
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:38 pm

Quoting alfablue (Reply 3):
The investigation has also renewed scrutiny on the FAA's 2007 decision to let Boeing use a highly flammable battery technology on the 787. A U.S. Senate committee will hold a hearing in coming weeks to examine aviation safety oversight and the FAA's decision, a congressional aide said on Tuesday.

And yet, no one has come forward showing where there has been significant fire damage to anything beyond the battery itself, except for smoke residue on the belly of the NH bird (which many speculated was actually battery electrolyte?). I know the investigation is still young, and we're being spoon fed pictures. I will reiterate what I said in the (now locked) #4 thread, the picture of the battery box before it was opened looks very similar to what I saw when a coworker destroyed a lead acid battery once in a GA plane, by charging a 12 volt battery with 28 volts DC. In that instance, battery acid boiled out and even dripped down out of the engine cowling. Since no one turned on the master switch in the hapless plane, the mechanic was able to put a new battery and battery box in the same day, and clean up all the battery acid, and had the plane flying again the same day.

It is looking, at this point, like the problem is in the battery itself. I'm guessing a long term solution is going to be more monitoring circuits to monitor the health of the individual cells in the LiIon batery, especially since in both incidents, the safety boards (NTSB + Japanese counterpart) are now saying no overvoltage occurred during charging.

[Edited 2013-01-23 13:49:14]
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flood
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:43 pm

From previous thread:

Quoting PITingres (Reply 252):
While I don't dispute your statement as such, the fact does remain that up until the grounding event, the dispatch reliability for the 787 fleet was reported as being on par with other new type introductions, specifically the 777 numbers. Are you suggesting that those 787 numbers were false / incorrect? or is this just an "I told you so"? (which might be immodest but there's no rule against it!)

Keep in mind the claimed DR applies to the 787 fleet worldwide, whereas mcdu was specifically referring to UA. Having tracked UA's fleet for the past 40 days or so, I don't see how they could have attained a DR rate of over 93% during the time, if that. I imagine the folks at UA cringe whenever Boeing touts their DR figures.
 
pygmalion
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:55 pm

Boeing quotes are fleetwide dispatch reliability and would include all 50 airplanes including UA
 
ikramerica
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 6):
Believe it or not - that is about it. We had 2 battery fires. Neither appeared to have endangered the a/c - however, concern about the battery, charging system, containment, etc. is such that the FAA is concerned and grounded the aircraft until the incidents can be fully understood and it can be ascertained that there is or is not a flight safety issue. The grounding obviously presumes there is and is the safe course of action. At such point as analysis reveals what happened and the potential impact of the incidents becomes clear, such action as is deemed needed will be ordered by way of AD, completed and the a/c will, presumably, return to flight.

This is where I don't agree with your analysis.

The FAA only grounded the aircraft AFTER the JAA did so. It was not out of concern, but out of CYA. There is no other answer I can see, because despite the two incidents happening within 2 weeks, they were very different, and neither contributed to a "safety of flight" situation that anyone can prove. One wasn't even flying for goodness sake.

But the FAA is not going to be upstaged by the JAA, plain and simple. And the JAA will not take the risk of failing to act after the nuclear regulatory agency in Japan was shown to be a miserable failure of an agency, and considering the public black-eyes regarding safety concerning automobiles (including battery fires) and aircraft seats from Japan over the last few years.

It is my belief that had the JAA not grounded the 787, the FAA would not have and 787s would be flying safely today. They would have continued with their already announced investigation WITHOUT grounding the aircraft, possibly recommending the testing of all batteries.

But now what? The FAA can't say "we checked things out and will allow the aircraft to fly while XYZ happens" because they haven't defined what they need to do so they have no idea how they will know it's finished.

I believe Boeing will have to sue the FAA to get the 787 back in the air, with a federal judge enjoining the FAA to prove imminent threat to life to keep the grounding alive, or to lift the grounding. After all, if it's simply a maintenance nightmare and not a threat to life, that's between Boeing and the airlines. We don't ground other hanger queens simply because they go tech more often.

But then, would any other agency around the world follow if the ban were lifted by the courts? Surely not the EU, as the damage this will do to Boeing is in the best interest of the EU. Maybe the JAA as they will feel pressure from ANA and JAL to lift the ban anyway.

Maybe the FAA can say "replace the main backup batteries with tested good batteries and remove all APU batteries" until things are better understood. This action alone would cut the risk of battery fire by some factor greater than 2, and since there is no evidence a battery fire would cause anything but a diversion, the risk is already low, so it would be over twice as low as before.

But there are egos involved, and a lot of CYA still to occur, so it could be a long grounding.
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warden145
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:36 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 6):

I just wanted to say, thank you for the recap of the situation. I've been wanting to know what's been going on, but with the flame wars through over two hundred posts per thread in four threads now, it was all but impossible to get the information without spending hours I don't have sifting through the wars to try and get the info, and I didn't want to start another thread to ask. So, thank you sir.  
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Stressedout
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:45 pm

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 5):
Enough of this confrontational BS !! Please !





I was being dramatic/sarcastic to illustrate how ridiculous his statement was. It is absurd to denigrate engineers and designers with very little reason. I work with engineers and pilots and find his statements a bit rich.

[Edited 2013-01-23 14:47:57]
 
robsaw
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:49 pm

Given all the rhetoric, I fully expect Boeing and its partners will come up with a solution. However, I also suspect given the positions of some people, those same people will never be satisfied that ANY Li-ion battery can EVER be safe on an aircraft.

Absolutely safe life only exists in fantasy - reality always has risks. If it weren't for the willingness of the technologically innovative to take life-threatening risks there would be no such thing as an aircraft today.
 
flood
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:49 pm

Quoting Pygmalion (Reply 10):
Boeing quotes are fleetwide dispatch reliability and would include all 50 airplanes including UA

Yes, that's my point - their figures represent the average for all 50 frames. But UA and ANA aren't operating their fleets with similar DR rates. They're nowhere close. ANA's numbers are driving up the worldwide average considerably.
 
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airmagnac
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:59 pm

Quoting StressedOut (Reply 13):
I was being dramatic/sarcastic to illustrate how rediculous his statement was.

If so, you have my apologies. I was a little violent there.
But I wasn't aiming at anyone in particular ; I removed the names of the posters in the quotes because this is a general observation. I just couldn't hold it in after reading through the entire part 4 thread in one go. So I stand by my post



Quoting rcair1 (Reply 6):

Boy - I'm in trouble. I'm both a pilot and an engineer

Same here

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 6):
On top of that I'm a fire fighter who deals with failures of both pilots and engineers. Boy - I must by skitzo.

Wow, you really must be totally nuts ! 
But as crazy as you may be, your posts are full of sense, and are highly appreciated.
My goal as an engineer is to fill my soul with coffee and become immortal
 
pygmalion
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:05 pm

Quoting flood (Reply 15):
Yes, that's my point - their figures represent the average for all 50 frames. But UA and ANA aren't operating their fleets with similar DR rates. They're nowhere close. ANA's numbers are driving up the worldwide average considerably.

not surprising since ANA has a third of the existing 787 fleet and has operated it the longest.

UA didn't start service until Nov 2012. They didnt even get half their fleet until late Dec. Not to worry, they will catch up.
 
PHX787
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:37 pm

From Stitch in the other thread: "Well if they believe it's the battery, and not the 787's charging system, then I don't see why the 787 needs to remain grounded once "known good" batteries can be identified and procedures can be put into place to test them to ensure that they remain "known good".

While the 787 did have two battery incidents in about as many weeks, many seem to forget that the fleet had over 100,000 hours of revenue flying without a battery incident. JA804A - the NH plane - had flown for a full year without a battery incident. Three other NH planes had flown for over a year without a battery incident. And JL had two or three planes with nine months of service without a battery incident."


Well at this point en Boeing needs to contact Yuasa and rigorously test the good batch, get them installed, and proceed with their lives.

At the same time though: has anyone else confirmed or denied if the batteries were just from one faulty batch?
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:40 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
Well at this point en Boeing needs to contact Yuasa and rigorously test the good batch, get them installed, and proceed with their lives.

Your obsession with Yuasa is tiring. It is too early to launch a probe, "rigorously test," or throw the book at Yuasa.

First, the problem needs to be isolated. Rigorous testing won't accomplish anything at all if nobody knows what needs to be tested for.
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SonomaFlyer
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:47 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):

Well at this point en Boeing needs to contact Yuasa and rigorously test the good batch, get them installed, and proceed with their lives.

At the same time though: has anyone else confirmed or denied if the batteries were just from one faulty batch?

We don't have any firm information that the batteries involved were from the same production run or "batch." NTSB did say the JL incident was not an "overcharging" incident. We are getting only dribbles of information and some of that information isn't exactly phrased so its open to interpretation which means we don't know squat yet.

Investigations are ongoing on three continents at the moment. Some media "sources" implied Boeing had some extra procedures/checks/inspection routines ready and I'm sure has dozens of engineers working around the clock to solve the issues.

As I've stated before, the FAA won't lift its order until the cause of the battery "thermal events" are known and there are fixes in place from a manufacturing or design standpoint plus testing whatever fixes or additional checks are recommended.
 
Scipio
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:22 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
The FAA only grounded the aircraft AFTER the JAA did so.

Not correct.

ANA and JAL voluntarily grounded their aircraft, but the Japanese Transport Ministry mandatorily grounded the B787 only after the FAA did so.
 
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:26 am

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 6):
Believe it or not - that is about it.

I thought I read in the early days after the grounding that the FAA was also going to review the certification process for the electrical system. Has that been dropped, or were these statements made by uninformed officials who wanted to look like they knew something?

Other than that question, thanks for the summary. I am learning more about batteries than I thought I ever would, and it actually has some relevance for my work as it turns out, even though the only thing I send flying is paper airplanes.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
The FAA only grounded the aircraft AFTER the JAA did so.

The JAA grounded the 787? I thought ANA decided to ground theirs, followed by JAL, or are you implying they did so not of their own initiative but under penalty of the JAA officially ordering them to?
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jreuschl
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:41 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
At the same time though: has anyone else confirmed or denied if the batteries were just from one faulty batch?

It is believed that the two bad batteries were 3 serial numbers apart, since the battery in the ANA incident was recently replaced, and the JAL airplane was less than a month old.

Boeing can hope the problem is as "simple" as that, but someone needs to figure out why they failed and find out if other recent batteries have the same problem.
 
rcair1
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:41 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
This is where I don't agree with your analysis.
The FAA only grounded the aircraft AFTER the JAA did so. It was not out of concern, but out of CYA. There is no other answer I can see, because despite the two incidents happening within 2 weeks, they were very different, and neither contributed to a "safety of flight" situation that anyone can prove. One wasn't even flying for goodness sake.

Wasn't really trying to analyze - trying to elucidate the status.
But...

Wrong.

JCAB (not JAA - there is no JAA) issued the ground order after the FAA issued it's emergency AD.
ANA did voluntarily ground it's fleet - but I can't even tell if that was before the FAA official order.
The FAA was the first to issue the order - other national agencies followed.

Which makes the rest of your post more or less pointless.
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:43 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 22):
I thought I read in the early days after the grounding that the FAA was also going to review the certification process for the electrical system. Has that been dropped, or were these statements made by uninformed officials who wanted to look like they knew something?

It could be. Certainly the news about Congress/Senate holding hearings mentions that. BTW - have we ever seen anything meaningful come out of congressional hearings of this type?
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Aesma
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:07 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 22):
FAA was also going to review the certification process for the electrical system.

The "certification debate" is today's news, but before the grounding (before the second incident) there was an investigation into the 787 electrical system that was launched.
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tdscanuck
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:52 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
The FAA only grounded the aircraft AFTER the JAA did so. It was not out of concern, but out of CYA.

How's it CYA when they did it first? JCAB acted to comply with the FAA emergency AD *after* it was issued.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
I believe Boeing will have to sue the FAA to get the 787 back in the air

I'll eat my hat if that happens. This is a bad enough PR mess already...can you imagine the outcry if Boeing *sued* the US federal government to make an airplane fly that the FAA didn't want flying?

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
After all, if it's simply a maintenance nightmare and not a threat to life, that's between Boeing and the airlines.

There's a very wide gulf between "maintenance nightmare" and "everyone's going to die". This battery issue lies somewhere in between. It's tough to describe this problem as merely economic (which is what "maintenance nightmare" implies to me).

Quoting robsaw (Reply 14):
However, I also suspect given the positions of some people, those same people will never be satisfied that ANY Li-ion battery can EVER be safe on an aircraft.

True. This despite that fact that your average commercial aircraft contains a few hundred Li-ion batteries, the vast majority of which have no certification or containment.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
At the same time though: has anyone else confirmed or denied if the batteries were just from one faulty batch?

There's lots of rumour running around but I haven't seen any hard data yet. The problem is compounded by the fact that the cells may be from different production runs...it's unlikely that consecutive cells ended up in consecutive batteries.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 20):
Investigations are ongoing on three continents at the moment. Some media "sources" implied Boeing had some extra procedures/checks/inspection routines ready and I'm sure has dozens of engineers working around the clock to solve the issues.

I'd suspect more like hundreds of engineers...plus techs and flight crews.

Tom.
 
flood
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:53 am

Quoting Pygmalion (Reply 17):

It's not surprising that ANA is driving up the average and I have no doubt UA will catch up sooner or later. Point remains, UA shouldn't have to be catching up from this far behind to begin with - and mcdu's claim that their 787s are "unreliable" reflects what I've seen in their daily operations. Their decision to position not just one, but two spare aircraft to LAX for the NRT inaugural says it all about their confidence in the aircraft.

For what it's worth, I think the problems UA has been experiencing also played a big part in the FAA's decision to launch the review.

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 23):
It is believed that the two bad batteries were 3 serial numbers apart

If I recall, it was said to be 30.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
many seem to forget that the fleet had over 100,000 hours of revenue flying without a battery incident.

"The airplane has logged 50,000 hours of flight"
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mcdu
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:20 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
many seem to forget that the fleet had over 100,000 hours of revenue flying without a battery incident

And how many hours between the two battery failure incidents?
 
PHX787
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:43 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 19):
Your obsession with Yuasa is tiring. It is too early to launch a probe, "rigorously test," or throw the book at Yuasa.

Well they are the battery maker remember. besides the occasional windshield issues I don't see anything else holding back the 787.
And about the Yuasa thing- Keep in mind I have a lot of interest in Japanese businesses. I haven't seen any other company reported so much about the 787 in Japanese media. Sure it could be hype but a lot of it is relevant information. And again with your comment about my obsession please note that I don't snip at you for your fields of interest.
Just an inb4: note that windshields of any aircraft are always subject to cracking due to temperature differences.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 20):
We don't have any firm information that the batteries involved were from the same production run or "batch." NTSB did say the JL incident was not an "overcharging" incident. We are getting only dribbles of information and some of that information isn't exactly phrased so its open to interpretation which means we don't know squat yet.
Quoting jreuschl (Reply 23):
It is believed that the two bad batteries were 3 serial numbers apart, since the battery in the ANA incident was recently replaced, and the JAL airplane was less than a month old.
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 27):
There's lots of rumour running around but I haven't seen any hard data yet. The problem is compounded by the fact that the cells may be from different production runs...it's unlikely that consecutive cells ended up in consecutive batteries.

I see, thanks for the answer. NH was also not an overcharging incident per most sources.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 29):
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
many seem to forget that the fleet had over 100,000 hours of revenue flying without a battery incident

And how many hours between the two battery failure incidents?

Note I was quoting user Stitch and wasn't making much of a reference to that particular line:
But for the sake of it, the hours apart were about 48 hours apart.

If we want to draw connections back to the "serial numbers" speculation, we would have to see when both of those were first manufactured and installed. Thats when we can draw similarities at this point, judging by what you all have said.
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squad55
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:44 am

Out of curiosity, what happens to the 787 pilots during the grounding? Are they still being paid etc?
 
BoeingVista
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:54 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 11):
I believe Boeing will have to sue the FAA to get the 787 back in the air, with a federal judge enjoining the FAA to prove imminent threat to life to keep the grounding alive, or to lift the grounding.

Worst idea ever! Think of the liability that Boeing would assume, would insurers even be willing to cover this risk? Plus are Boeing going to sue EASA and Japanese Transport Ministry next..

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 18):
From Stitch in the other thread: "Well if they believe it's the battery, and not the 787's charging system, then I don't see why the 787 needs to remain grounded once "known good" batteries can be identified and procedures can be put into place to test them to ensure that they remain "known good".

Even assuming that the problem is exclusively that of failing batteries how long does it take a 'known good' battery to turn bad, 1 month, 1 week, 1 charge?

Also the problem of not meeting the special conditions, the FAA would be put in the position of defending waving its certification safety standards.
BV
 
prebennorholm
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:24 am

I stumbled over this document from an Airbus conference about lithium battery safety almost a year ago:

http://www.multimedia-support.net/fl...-safety-conference/docs/20-3-1.pdf

I noticed especially on page #13 the line: "Specific venting outside the battery/aircraft when relevant"

I also read in a Reuters press report that Airbus has developed a special titanium pressure valve for a Li-Ion thermal runaway incident.

The "outside battery/aircraft" thing, and this pressure valve, could indicate that Airbus has chosen a somewhat more conservative containment design approach to fulfill the FAA/EASA special requirements.

Anybody out there with some knowledge about that?
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:18 am

Q:
Out of curiosity, what happens to the 787 pilots during the grounding? Are they still being paid etc?

A: most if not all 787 pilots are still certified 777 or 767 aircraft. They have seniority and will fly those ac.
 
Passedv1
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:27 am

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 34):
Q:
Out of curiosity, what happens to the 787 pilots during the grounding? Are they still being paid etc?

A: most if not all 787 pilots are still certified 777 or 767 aircraft. They have seniority and will fly those ac.

I can only reply as to the United Pilots, but yes, they are still getting paid. Pilots have a monthly minimum gurantee which at United is 70 hours/month.

United would have to "displace" the current 787 pilots out of their seats, at which point they could bid anywhere their seniority could hold. They would then have to be retrained for their new seats (they don't have to bid back to what they held previously). When United decided they were needed again, United would have to put out a new bid and then the pilots could return to flying the 787. Problem is, the same pilots might not bid back to the 787...or other more senior piots may decide to bid the 787, creating yet more training. Since every full training cycle costs 30k on average, for practical purposes, unless it is looking like it is going to be closer to months instead of weeks, then the United 787 pilots will be at home, waiting.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:18 am

For those looking for official news, the next NTSB update regarding the JAL 787 Boston investigation will be at a press conference scheduled for 2:30pm EST on Thursday, Jan 24. Photography will be allowed during the lab tour where the battery is being examined.

http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/130123.html
International Homo of Mystery
 
keegd76
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:46 am

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 5):
Point me to one single accident which involves only the design, or only the pilots ; I don't know one.

BA 38 - FOHE design allowed ice to clog the system - Engineering Issue, no pilot error;
Tenerife - Pilot took off without clearance - Pilot Error, no mechanical issue;
Charkhi Dadri Mid Air Collision - Crew failed to follow ATC instructions and left assigned height - Pilot Error, no mechanical issue;

To name but three.

No offence but you walked into that one.

Apologies for straying off-topic.
Nothing comes down faster than a VTOL aircraft upside down.
 
trex8
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:21 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 24):
JCAB (not JAA - there is no JAA) issued the ground order after the FAA issued it's emergency AD.
ANA did voluntarily ground it's fleet - but I can't even tell if that was before the FAA official order.
The FAA was the first to issue the order - other national agencies followed.

NH and JL voluntarily grounded their planes and the FAA then followed. There was never a Japanese government edict to ground prior to the airlines doing it on their own.
 
blrsea
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:58 pm

Today's seattle times has this report. Looks like the plane worked as designed. However, the electrolyte getting splayed inside the electronics bay is an issue, and the fact that Boeing didn't expect that many incidents to happen.

787 battery blew up in ’06 lab test, burned down building

Quote:
...
People familiar with the investigation so far confirm that electrolytes sprayed out of the battery in the ANA jet, leaving a dark sooty residue across the electronics bay. Photos show the insides of the battery burned out and blackened.
...
...
In its 2007 comments, the pilots union initially asked that the FAA require “means for extinguishing fires” caused by the lithium-ion batteries.

However, in a subsequent email to the FAA later that year, the union switched gears and asked that the focus be “preventing a fire and not reacting to one.”

ALPA did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
...
...
Mike Sinnett, Boeing vice president and chief 787 project engineer, explained why in a conference call last week and detailed Boeing’s engineering solution.

To completely rule out any catastrophic high-energy fire or explosion that could result from overcharging a battery, Sinnett said, Boeing designed four independent systems to monitor and control the battery charge.

However, he conceded that if an internal cell shorts and overheats, “the electrolyte can catch on fire and that can self-sustain.”

“Something like that is very difficult to put out,” Sinnett said. “Because the electrolyte contains an oxidizer, fire suppressants just won’t work.”

Boeing’s design solution is to contain that outcome until the combusting battery cell or cells burn out.

“You have to assume it’s not going to go out,” Sinnett explained. “You have to assume that it’s going to go and that it’s going to expend all of its energy.

“You have to be good with the amount of heat and smoke that’s generated from that event,” he added.

Sinnett pointed out that the air flow in the electronics bay will be redirected when smoke is detected, so that the smoke is vented overboard, not into the passenger cabin or cockpit.

Nance, the veteran pilot, said he assumes Boeing’s engineers have got that right — in which case, it’s possible the incident on board the ANA jet played out as they intended.


But still, he said, Boeing “may not have adequately planned for the number of potential incidents” that might occur during a jet’s lifetime.
...
...
 
sankaps
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:14 pm

Quick question, and apologies if it has been answered already in the 5 threads on this topic: Besides the 787 and A380, are there any other commercial airliners that use Lithium Ion batteries in major applications?

Thanks.
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:20 pm

Quoting sankaps (Reply 40):
A380

The main and APU batteries (all 4 of them) on the A380 are Ni-cad
 
UALWN
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:24 pm

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 41):
I don't remember a thread being this long over any other aircraft issue. FIVE PARTS!?!? Over batteries?!? Jeez Louise....

The thread is about the grounding of the 787 by the FAA, now in its second week. This is the first FAA grounding since 1979, so it's a big deal. And in 1979 there was no a.net, so no long thread about the DC10 back then...
AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/787/AB6/310/32X/330/340/380
 
rcair1
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:24 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 38):
NH and JL voluntarily grounded their planes and the FAA then followed. There was never a Japanese government edict to ground prior to the airlines doing it on their own.

The FAA grounding 'followed' ANA and JAL voluntary action in the temporal sense. I think the FAA made their own decision.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 40):
Quick question, and apologies if it has been answered already in the 5 threads on this topic: Besides the 787 and A380, are there any other commercial airliners that use Lithium Ion batteries in major applications?

Many commercial airliners use multiple Li-Ion batteries - but these are small batteries used for things like exit signs. The only aircraft in service that uses Li-Ion of the size and capacity of what we are talking about is the 787. The A350 will use them in this manner - there will be 4, all co-located in one bay.. I can't tell for sure, midst all the ranting, conspiracy theories and garbage in this thread if the capacity of the A350 batteries is larger or smaller individually or in total capacity. There are people claiming both.
rcair1
 
frmrCapCadet
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:24 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 25):
It could be. Certainly the news about Congress/Senate holding hearings mentions that. BTW - have we ever seen anything meaningful come out of congressional hearings of this type?

As I recall hearings on these sorts of things tend to be an official briefing. There is no intention on finding new things. Legislatures likely ask if current regulation and enforcement are adequate, and if not does congress need to change anything. Legislators may ask for terms to be explained in more common language. There likely will be some explanations of risk management statistics, and attempted translations in lay terms.
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LTC8K6
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:56 pm

Quoting blrsea (Reply 39):
787 battery blew up in ’06 lab test, burned down building

If I recall correctly, that was not the same battery.
 
Planesmart
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:35 pm

'The two batteries are identical, but located in different parts of the a/c. The APU battery is used only to start the APU when other sources are not available. The ship battery is used for backup when other sources fail. It is not used in normal flight operations.'

If the batteries only purpose in life is as described, a less radical option would be inflight monitoring of the battery container temperature, and say weekly out of aircraft testing, with pre-tested batteries re-fitted to minimise time on the ground.

Could charging also be turned off inflight?

I'm not minimising the task each battery set is designed to perform, but does it perhaps suggest from the authorities reaction, that they may perform additional purposes, either routinely or in emergencies?
 
trex8
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:43 pm

Forgive me if I missed this in the several hundred posts on the subject but maybe this incident is of some relevance to the issue.Certainly scary if these batteries can do this much damage.

http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech...eing-787-suppliers-facility/60809/

"
Comments

An explosion in a lithium battery under development for use in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner resulted in a fire that destroyed the Tucson, Ariz., facility of manufacturer Securaplane in 2006"

edited to add quote

[Edited 2013-01-24 10:44:45]
 
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Stitch
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:17 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 47):
Forgive me if I missed this in the several hundred posts on the subject but maybe this incident is of some relevance to the issue.

It's been raised a number of times, but with so many posts and threads...  

It should be noted the battery was connected to prototype equipment and not the system used by the 787.

The Seattle Times ran a good article on the incident and related issues today.

[Edited 2013-01-24 11:31:01]
 
rcair1
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 5

Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:22 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 47):
An explosion in a lithium battery under development for use in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner resulted in a fire that destroyed the Tucson, Ariz., facility of manufacturer Securaplane in 2006"

This event has been discussed widely - and there are a number of things you need to look at to fully understand the issue. For instance, reports that when the event occurred, the cell monitoring system on the battery being charged was not connected. Certainly it was in a lab situation, not a production or commercial situation.
rcair1