mcdu
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:28 pm

I agree that there is a cavalier attitude by many about the issues of the 787. Many of the people that share this attitude are shameless fans of BA, engineers or designers. Those of us that have to operate or ride in this new tech are the ones that seem most concerned. The infallibility complex of engineers and designers are what created issues like the caravelle, electra, DC-10 and several other noteworthy failures.

Prior to the some of the significant events that led to this grounding I forecasted major problems for this program. When UA announced a "revised" schedule for the 787 I predicted there would be more revisions because the airplane was unreliable. The general consensus among the fans and engineer/designers was that UA was not used the airplane and it was all the airlines fault that the dispatch reliability was so low. As we see today the airplane has problems, they are not simple in nature nor are they quick fixes. It is going to take some admission on BA's part to address these problems and there has been plenty of newspaper ink saying BA is in denial over the problems this programme has experienced.
 
justloveplanes
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:38 am

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:31 pm

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 235):
Or an internal short resulting from a production defect.

Looking more and more likely, see below

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 240):
Yomiuri, USA Today, and Japan Today all saying that, like the JL frame, the NH plane at TAK did not suffer an over charge. Therefore it's something inherently wrong with the lithium ion batteries themselves.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):

The above being said, I do not believe that once the fleet is returned to service with "known good" batteries and a testing regimen to ensure they remain "known good" that the case should be closed.

Agree, as has been mentioned, 100K hours with no battery problems.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
I believe Boeing should be ordered to design and test a more robust containment system to restore full confidence that if a "known good" battery suddenly goes "bad" and enters thermal runaway, there is evidentiary proof that the containment system will hold it for beyond 330 minutes (even if the batteries themselves lack the fuel to burn that long, ensuring no electrolyte leaks outside the container for such a period strikes me as prudent).

Agree, prudent and an AD, but not grounding.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
It is believed that Airbus has chosen an "active discharge" process in which the liquid battery material is vented from the container directly into the atmosphere, which should prevent it from "bubbling over" and escaping the containment system.

Probably what they'll end up with is my guess. A few more pounds in the EE bay. C'est la vie.....
 
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PITingres
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
Those of us that have to operate or ride in this new tech are the ones that seem most concerned.

If you had written "... are the ones who seem to have the most fear, uncertainty, and doubt" I would agree. Concern is something else entirely and those who have posted the most factual information (including CM, tsdcanuck, rcair1, stitch among others) seem to me to have exhibited plenty of concern.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
The infallibility complex of engineers and designers are what created issues like the caravelle, electra, DC-10 and several other noteworthy failures.

People with infallibility complexes don't design containment and backup systems because their primary designs are perfect. So I don't really have any idea what you are talking about unless it's just ranting.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
When UA announced a "revised" schedule for the 787 I predicted there would be more revisions because the airplane was unreliable. The general consensus among the fans and engineer/designers was that UA was not used the airplane and it was all the airlines fault that the dispatch reliability was so low.

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!)

[Edited 2013-01-23 10:42:06]
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
Kaiarahi
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:41 pm

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
The infallibility complex of engineers and designers

Actually, their professional discipline is all about fallibility - but by all means, let's do away with designers and engineers and have aircraft designed by a) teachers, b) hockey players, c) bus drivers, or d) late night television hosts.
Empty vessels make the most noise.
 
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Stitch
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:42 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 248):
Going back to batteries, the phrase "fire is unacceptable" to me conveys the notion that (some appear to) want to treat it on the same level as a rotor burst -- something that basically must not ever happen. That seems to be an unreasonable engineering trade and I disagree with it; better to assume some sufficiently low probability of battery fires and contain them if it happens.

I'd argue that just declaring that something to be "unacceptable" could hinder safety, rather then advance it.

If the FAA declared that "battery fires were unacceptable", how would that be proven? How many hours of testing? How many simulations? How many scenarios? Assuming you want the system to eventually be certified, you have to declare a standard to be met. And what if Boeing had met whatever that standard was? And because they had met it, and a battery fire was officially declared "impossible", Boeing had been allowed to just put the battery in the bottom of the bay like they are on the KC-135 with no attempt made at mitigating possible deleterious effects.

Because Murphy is an a**hole and Quantum Theory provides that given enough time, anything is possible, the battery catches fire in direct contempt of the FAA. How much damage would have occurred aboard JA804A or JA829J with a battery that burned in the open or disgorged electrolyte solution across the EE bay?

Because the FAA...well, accepts...that some things that should be unacceptable cannot be effectively engineered so as to be impossible, they demand that if the "unacceptable" happens, the effects are not allowed to proceed unhindered and inflict maximum possible damage.
 
RNAVFL350
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:58 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 193):
Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
I agree that there is a cavalier attitude by many about the issues of the 787. Many of the people that share this attitude are shameless fans of BA, engineers or designers

I am pretty sure that the only reason you have a job is because of engineers and designers that build the planes that you fly! Of all the comments that I have read since part 1 of this thread, this is by far one of the most ignorant and classles comments to be posted(and there many).
 
alfablue
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:16 pm

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:06 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 242):
They were foreseen, otherwise they wouldn't have wrapped the battery in a big steel box.

I would like to respectfully disagree with you. I don't think they were foreseen in that frequency and in the way they developed. I have read now a few documents and articles from 2007 and one concern was not only containment but also protection. There are many things that can go wrong on an aircraft and those batteries are vulnerable so they also need to be protected (outside heat sources, damage, mishandling) because this conditions could lead to trouble. As you can not prevent those things they wanted a container outside the batteries!

For sure they did NOT anticipate that under normal operations two batteries just catch fire and burn.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 248):
"fire is unacceptable" to me conveys the notion that you want to treat it on the same level as a rotor burst -- something that basically must not ever happen. That seems to be an unreasonable engineering trade and I disagree with it

Well I have to disagree with you on that one from my point of view. I am send twice a year to do fire drills, in the cabin mock up I jump down the slides or try to locate plastic babies (yes they do hide things like that and we have to do a final cabin check), in the sim I do cargo fires, engine fires, CAT3 appr with APU fire in go around, I have to participate in firefighting exercises, discuss it on CRM courses. I know all smoke hood variations and we practice the fire axe to get behind panels!

SO THIS IS MY REALITY! every year once or twice - FIRE EVERYWHERE! It's like the biggest paranoia for aircrews. And now in 2013 an engineer wants to sell me a container on an ETOPS flight? Sorry guys but you should have asked the drivers - in the link I posted you see that pilot unions rejected them pretty much from the beginning - now we have prove - Boeing will not be able to sell that concept to pilots - I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND! and I am sure most of my colleagues agree!

The reality about that paranoia is that if I have a flight like JFK-DUS or so and over the pond in the dark and tired somebody sets off the smoke alarm in a lavatory - this alarm takes away ten years of your live because if that is a real alarm in 10 minutes I might be dead! I am not convinced!

AlfaBlue
 
Shenzhen
Posts: 1666
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:11 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
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".

Totally agree. Once the suspect batteries are removed from service, the easiest way to ensure the remainder remain good would be to hard time the batteries and require that they run through the battery shops for full testing and or overhaul. The test equipment is already available, along with the procedures. As confidence grows through the testing data, new AMOCs can be approved extending the time on wing.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
I believe Boeing should be ordered to design and test a more robust containment system to restore full confidence that if a "known good" battery suddenly goes "bad" and enters thermal runaway, there is evidentiary proof that the containment system will hold it for beyond 330 minutes (even if the batteries themselves lack the fuel to burn that long, ensuring no electrolyte leaks outside the container for such a period strikes me as prudent). It is believed that Airbus has chosen an "active discharge" process in which the liquid battery material is vented from the container directly into the atmosphere, which should prevent it from "bubbling over" and escaping the containment system.

And once that containment system is installed, Boeing should then be at least strongly encouraged to change the chemistry of the cathodes from the current lithium cobalt oxide to something like lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, lithium nickel manganese cobalt or lithium iron phosphate due to their safer and more stable chemistry.

This should be through the normal NPRM / AD process if the designs are considered a safety issue.

Boeing can always change a design as a product improvement, but airlines won't be required to retrofit unless it is mandated by the Feds.

Very good news today. My guess is that all the fault history (at least from the two incident airplanes) has been reviewed. With the onboard health monitoring systems on the 787, I would imagine that Boeing already has a wealth of chapter 24 fault history, for the entire fleet.

Cheers
 
NathanH
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:18 pm

Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
And now in 2013 an engineer wants to sell me a container on an ETOPS flight?

You literally entrust your entire life to engineers every time you do your job. It is odd that just now you are doubting their qualificaitons. Also, just because you are a pilot, it doesn't give you any special insight into how many of the systems on a plane are designed, or the knowledge to make a call whether they are safe or not.
 
starrion
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:21 pm

So if both events are now known not to involve over-charging, that leads back to a bad lot of batteries.

If the known -bad lot can be identified, then replacing them should be pretty straightforward. Does that not mean there is a light at the end of the tunnel?

Or is it a train?
Knowledge Replaces Fear
 
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PITingres
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:33 pm

Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND!

I'm sorry, but you do, every day, and I'm not just talking about the engines. Electrical fires, hydraulic fires, cargo fires, all can happen and have happened, with *and without* loss of life. Just because this source of fire is new doesn't make it prima facie worse, and that is what you are saying.

I shouldn't have to add this, but ... just because the fire hazard is contained / containable doesn't make it a trivial matter. The frequency is apparently too high and that needs to be investigated and fixed. However I believe you are being irrational (*) in fearing this ignition source above all the others that already exist in the models already in service.

(*) I don't mean that to be a personal criticism; humans are notoriously bad at risk assessment of all sorts. It's a difficult discipline.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
wjcandee
Posts: 8309
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:40 pm

Quoting NathanH (Reply 258):
Also, just because you are a pilot, it doesn't give you any special insight into how many of the systems on a plane are designed, or the knowledge to make a call whether they are safe or not.

Witness our friend Patrick Smith's recent media appearances. It was evident that he really had no idea about 787 systems, certification or engineering. He doesn't fly them so no reason he should. But because of that, he should have kept his mouth shut.

On the other hand, he will never be called out about it because he delivered exactly the quotes that were hoped-for by the media morons that called him.
 
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seahawk
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RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:41 pm

One defect points to a faulty battery, 2 defects point to a more complex problem, unless you can find a third battery from the same production batch that shows a developing defect in line with the faults you have recorded so far. Imho a reason for the battery faults must be found before the grounding can be lifted. I am certain that they are already checking the obvious explanations (batteries from the batch, batteries with the same age, with the same number of flight cycles) as well as for other defects in the 2 planes. (data in the blackboxes, running the electrical system on the ground, etc.) Until we hear anything about the progress of this investigations everything is speculation. (but good speculation, as the information about the fire fighting for such batteries was valuable information for me)
 
alfablue
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:16 pm

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:43 pm

Quoting NathanH (Reply 258):
You literally entrust your entire life to engineers every time you do your job. It is odd that just now you are doubting their qualificaitons.

I do trust our engineers. 100% I can assure you that. I have the uttermost respect of them and we get along very well - you even become friends with them - many of them have even pilot licenses - whats your point? If line maintenance for you is the same as trying to introduce a new technology and I quote Boeing:

The batteries were chosen "after a careful review of available alternatives because they best met the performance and design objectives of the 787," Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said. "Based on everything we know at this point, we have not changed our evaluation."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...eing-787-faa-idUSLNE90M00J20130123

performance and design objective - am I the only one missing the word safety here?

Quoting PITingres (Reply 260):
Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND!

I'm sorry, but you do, every day, and I'm not just talking about the engines. Electrical fires, hydraulic fires, cargo fires, all can happen and have happened, with *and without* loss of life.

Yes I do and I am aware of that - why should I accept another source of risk? I mean why dont they install five little ram air turbines popping out if needed - there are other ways to generate or store electricity!

AlfaBlue
 
SonomaFlyer
Posts: 2216
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:47 pm

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:47 pm

Quoting starrion (Reply 259):
If the known -bad lot can be identified, then replacing them should be pretty straightforward. Does that not mean there is a light at the end of the tunnel?

Or is it a train?

I like that analogy
 

If and ONLY IF these two incidents are traced to a "bad batch" of batteries then the FAA will want to know:

1. What was the nature of the manufacturing defect;
2. Check all other batteries not just in this lot but in the entire fleet (this means putting each and every battery through whatever qualifies as the most rigorous testing regimen available;
3. An action plan by the battery manufacturer to prevent the recurrence of this defect;
4. Enhanced safety checklists for the airlines.

They'll want it in a comprehensive package and will want to see the plan implemented before they lift the grounding order. At the very least, this will mean inspections of all delivered 787s using the new procedures and testing their batteries.

The last thing the FAA or any other oversight agency would want is to lift the order than have another incident - this would make them look incompetent and they certainly don't want that!

A bad battery is actually a best case scenario (i.e. a manufacturing defect rather than a bad design). If the issues are limited to the battery as opposed to the entire electrical charging/discharging system and associated software, that will save them weeks worth of troubleshooting.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14214
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:47 pm

Quoting alfablue (Reply 263):
performance and design objective - am I the only one missing the word safety here?

Performance and design objective includes not failing, no?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
RickNRoll
Posts: 1851
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:30 am

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:51 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):

I think that addresses my concerns.
 
pygmalion
Posts: 836
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:47 am

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:06 pm



Wow, thank you so very much.

Some much needed perspective on a very serious topic!

The amount of word mincing, pseudo-legal babble, and over- and re-interpretation of published information for the sole purpose of downplaying the problem in this forum has reached unimaginable proportions. It will not stop the (increasingly condescending) posts by the self-proclaimed "experts", but I for one am glad somebody took the time to formulate what needed to be said!

How about "Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain speaking - Sorry to interrupt your lunch but we have some indications that we might have a cargo fire on board."

All commercial aircraft flying today could have a contained fire in the cargo bay from some passenger stuffing a spare Li-ion laptop battery into their suitcase and it going up in flames. Not contained in a steel box but surrounded by lots of flammable clothes/ paperbacks or other flammables... up to 5 hours from any airport but still they fly. Why is it "safe"? Because the regulators and engineers understand the risks and design and install mitigating actions like containment and fire detection/suppression to reduce passenger risk to a agreed upon level. Note they do not eliminate the risk... they mitigate to ensure continued safe flight and landing.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 250):
I agree that there is a cavalier attitude by many about the issues of the 787. Many of the people that share this attitude are shameless fans of BA, engineers or designers. Those of us that have to operate or ride in this new tech are the ones that seem most concerned. The infallibility complex of engineers and designers are what created issues like the caravelle, electra, DC-10 and several other noteworthy failures.

one of the most ludicrous statements I have ever read on Airliners.net and that's saying something. The very business of engineers is understanding their own fallibility and that of the other designers, suppliers, manufacturers, users and unknowledgeable passengers and then mitigating the known risks and the possibility of unforeseen events from causing incidents and accidents

Quoting alfablue (Reply 256):
SO THIS IS MY REALITY! every year once or twice - FIRE EVERYWHERE! It's like the biggest paranoia for aircrews. And now in 2013 an engineer wants to sell me a container on an ETOPS flight? Sorry guys but you should have asked the drivers - in the link I posted you see that pilot unions rejected them pretty much from the beginning - now we have prove - Boeing will not be able to sell that concept to pilots - I DO NOT FLY POTENTIAL FIRES AROUND! and I am sure most of my colleagues agree!

you need to find a new job... probably one working from home where you are exposed to less fear and excitement.
 
starrion
Posts: 1022
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:19 pm

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:08 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 243):
I believe Boeing should be ordered to design and test a more robust containment system to restore full confidence that if a "known good" battery suddenly goes "bad" and enters thermal runaway, there is evidentiary proof that the containment system will hold it for beyond 330 minutes (even if the batteries themselves lack the fuel to burn that long, ensuring no electrolyte leaks outside the container for such a period strikes me as prudent). It is believed that Airbus has chosen an "active discharge" process in which the liquid battery material is vented from the container directly into the atmosphere, which should prevent it from "bubbling over" and escaping the containment system.

And once that containment system is installed, Boeing should then be at least strongly encouraged to change the chemistry of the cathodes from the current lithium cobalt oxide to something like lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, lithium nickel manganese cobalt or lithium iron phosphate due to their safer and more stable chemistry.

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....
Knowledge Replaces Fear
 
iowaman
Topic Author
Posts: 3864
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 2:29 am

RE: FAA Grounds 787 Part 4

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:09 pm

Please continue the discussion in Part 5 as this thread is quite long:

FAA Grounds 787 Part 5 (by iowaman Jan 23 2013 in Civil Aviation)

[Edited 2013-01-23 12:13:06]

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