The Federal Aviation Administration has taken the action of grounding Boeing 787 Dreamliners according to a release at www.faa.gov
As a result of an in-flight, Boeing 787 battery incident earlier today in Japan, the FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations. Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe.
The FAA will work with the manufacturer and carriers to develop a corrective action plan to allow the U.S. 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.
As we’re all aware, there have been issues with the lithium ion battery packs – with one combusting in Boston, and one leaking in Japan yesterday. The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two 787 Aircraft
The FAA and Japanese Authorities are investigating the root cause. What was an issue turned into a problem that the FAA sees fit to ground the fleet now, with fears if the errors are not corrected it could lead to damage in critical systems and fires.
Boeing have responded to the action with the following release:
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney issued the following statement today after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive that requires U.S. 787 operators to temporarily cease operations and recommends other regulatory agencies to follow suit:
“The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.
“Boeing is committed to supporting the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible. The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. We will make available the entire resources of The Boeing Company to assist.
“We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the traveling public of the 787′s safety and to return the airplanes to service.
“Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers.”
Currently the aircraft that are grounded are:
- All Nippon Airways – 17 aircraft (Rolls Royce Engines)
- Japan Airlines – 6 aircraft (GE Engines)
- United Airlines – 6 aircraft (GE Engines)
- LAN Chille – 3 aircraft (Rolls Royce Engines)
A total of 33 frames grounded now – and I’d expect those countries that have 787 operated in them will probably follow suit sooner rather than later. LAN pulled the plug on their 787′s on orders of Chilean Aeronautical Authority.
Flights that were scheduled to be operated by the 787 will be temporarily replaced with other aircraft in our fleet to mitigate any potential impacts that this situation could cause to its passengers and cargo clients. The safety of the operation and its passengers is LAN’s top priority and the company regrets any inconvenience that this may cause.
If this isn’t a serious setback for the 787 project, I’m not sure what is. It seems the Dreamliner is turning into a Nightmare…
Updated: 02:28GMT/17-01-2013 – FAA response.
Updated: 02:35GMT /17-01-2013 -LAN Grounds its 787′s, with LAN Statement