business

Second JAL 787 incident in 2 days raises questions about Dreamliner

45 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2013 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments
Login to comment

The LA Times ran an article a while ago tacitly suggesting that a rash of these kinds of problems for the 787 would be in the offing. The reason is because the production of this aircraft has been extensively outsourced to the four corners of the globe, with very little manufacturing done in Seattle.

The article said Boeing was basically having problems fitting together the different parts from different suppliers and getting them to work properly.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Duh. Boeig designed the parts. Even the manufacturing process. Now they say that suppliers are the problem. what a joke

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It was Boeing's responsibility to make sure that everything works perfectly. The purchase of these aircrafts was a major risk by JAL - which only recently managed to overcome its financial difficulties and get a surplus - and Boeing must make sure that there are no malfunctions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fuel spilling out of an aircraft that's already taxiing is a huge design problem, which this probably wasn't. More likely, the ground crew failed to secure the fueling valve properly. Don't see how you can blame Being for that...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What was the root cause? We don't know if it was a design flaw, malfunction or human error. No need to jump to irrational conclusions so let's wait for all the facts. This story probably leaves out lots of pertinent details.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Responsibility for the aircrafts safety now lies with owner of the aircraft.

It's pretty simple really. Boeing sold the aircraft. After proper inspections JAL and ANA now operate the aircraft. Now if they can't read the instruction manual in English then it's their problem. Boeing is not responsible for pre-flight inspection and regular maintenance. That's JAL's duty. It doesn't surprise me that both incidents involve JAL

It all comes down to cutbacks. You can't forget so quickly that JAL just came out of bankruptcy. How do you do that in just under a year? You have to cut costs somewhere. Bankruptcy by a major airline is something to fear. It's not like a doughnut shop going out of business. This company puts lives at risk.

You might say FPS, why so negative? Why blame these safety problems on the Japanese and not Boeing? The attitude comes from these events: TEPCO, NEXCO, Toyota. Companies that overlook safety. Companies that eyeball check the safety of aging tunnels. Companies that flat out lie to the public about safety conditions and possible hazards so they can keep a buck in their pocket.

These guys do long division and the risks of lawsuits are cheaper than completing necessary repairs for public safety.

I do believe Boeing should be very much involved cause they designed the aircraft BUT......BUT....when it comes to safety, deep checks are required before taking off. Trying to squeeze in as many flights as possible on a skeleton crew because you are trying to turn a profit after filing bankruptcy should scare anybody who flies.

The buck stops with the owner when it comes to any transportation operator.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

With the two incidents with this "dreamliner" and Japanese owned company, the next story would be protestors voicing their opinion to raise awareness on the dangers of aircraft with known problems to flying over populated areas around Japans international airports.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@FPSRussia

"Why blame these safety problems on the Japanese and not Boeing?"

A United Airlines 787 had to make an emergency landing in December.

Qatar Airlines also grounded one of its 787s because of electrical issues in December.

They are not years old airplanes. And you are blaming JAL because they are Japanese ?

Talk about jumping to conclusion based on nothing.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@FPS

The Dreamliner hasn't been a problem only for JAL - there were also problems on United bought 787's http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/08/news/companies/boeing-787-dreamliner/

Ad to that you're obviously racist comment " Now if they can't read the instruction manual in English then it's their problem" - don't you know that many employees of JAL are Americans? The maintenance crews, being based in the US, were almost undoubtedly American.This has nothing whatsoever to do with English reading ability.

The FAA and NTSB I'm sure will do a thorough inspection and report to find out the problem. Its strange that you have already acted as judge , jury and executioner when no one else has all the facts yet. If that's not prejudice I don't know what is.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@dudeeyes. The problems were discovered by employees based in America. Why weren't they discovered before they left Japan.

Americans take safety very seriously. That's why our Osprey fly over Japan.

It is unfortunate that you considered my comment racist when it's more about their English education. There are countless Japanese who still don't fully understand their iPhones. That's from America too. You probably have one, maybe even an Andriod.

You have to read the instructions carefully if you are going to own one. A racist comment would be more directed to their physical appearance or culture. Not being to read the instruction manual in a foreign language has more to do with their educational level.

Perhaps the jobs for the ground crew here in Japan should go to English speaking engineers who can read that manual. The fact that they don't hire them based on the fact that they are not Japanese is clearly more racist than anything.

The bottom line is this....when they do have a deadly accident and lives are lost, the lawyers won't be blaming who built the aircraft but rather who operated it. It will be on that day that you have a bunch of JAL employees who will lie till they admit they were completely competent on how to manage the safety systems and checks on the aircraft.

*Talk about jumping to conclusions based on nothing but speculation.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I say the problem is Boston. Not Boeing, no sir.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here ya go. Imagine the guy on the Ground Crew can't fully understand this. This directive listed below was prepared by ATA and was sent to all companies who own and operate Boeing 787s.

(e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by reports of fuel leaks due to improperly assembled engine fuel feed manifold couplings. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct improperly assembled couplings, which could result in fuel leaks and consequent fuel exhaustion, engine power loss or shutdown, or leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire.

(f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspection Except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, in accordance with Action 1) of Boeing Multi Operator Message MOM-MOM- 12-0838-01B(R2), including Attachment A, dated November 25, 2012. (1) Within 7 days after the effective date of this AD, ensure that the lockwire installation on the rigid and full flexible couplings is correct.

(2) Within 21 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect the rigid and full flexible couplings for correct assembly, including replacement of the o-rings with new o-rings, confirmation that the proper retainer rings are installed in the full flexible coupling, a general visual inspection for damage

All of this has to be translated and if they didn't translate it properly.....well why am I saying IF. Obviously it wasn't communicated to JALs maintenance engineers cause it already happened.

After the little tunnel accident on Chuo expressway we now understand what "visual inspection" means to engineers in Japan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Now if they can't read the instruction manual in English then it's their problem. Boeing is not responsible for pre-flight inspection and regular maintenance.

If you operate a flying coffin with various technical problems based on mistakes of engineers, reading the instuction manual in English will not help.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All vehicles regardless of design will have technical flaws. They will emerge. Swift response aka alacrity in solving these problems is mandatory. We all know that Japan is not known for it's alacrity in solving problems. Instead they'll have numerous confabs of group think before taking any actions.

As you can see, the AD was originally dated in November of last year.

Here's the internal flaw in Japan's business design and management.

"If all the people think alike then no one is thinking at all.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Where have the first article and all the comments gone?

Boeing needs to completely revamp their quality control checking procedures., IMHO.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sorry Boeng, I am with the unions on this one. You threw good people under the bus for short term profit. Time to pay the piper.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Americans take safety very seriously. That's why our Osprey fly over Japan.

Very seriously? You should watch a program called Air Crash Investigations on NatGeo channel. Especially "Cutting Corners" episode. The management of American company, Alaska Airlines, took safety so "seriously" by spitting upon a regular maintenance of aircrafts. As a result , an American aircraft MD-83 (Alaska Airlines Flight 261) with jammed and broken trimmable horizontal stabilizer fell into the ocean, killing all people onboard.

It is unfortunate that you considered my comment racist when it's more about their English education. There are countless Japanese who still don't fully understand their iPhones. That's from America too. You probably have one, maybe even an Andriod.

As an American, you obviously fail to understand that many Japanese people prefer to use SONY or, say Fujitsu smartphones over your IPhones. Have you ever heard about Sony Xperia series? For me, Japanese smartphones even look out much better than soap-like American PoS from Apple.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With the two incidents with this "dreamliner" and Japanese owned company, the next story would be protestors voicing their opinion to raise awareness on the dangers of aircraft with known problems to flying over populated areas around Japans international airports.

Perhaps we'll see a statement from Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick stating that he is "deeply concerned" about these regrettable safety problems, and that two incidents in as many days clearly show a pattern of faulty design, maintenance, or both (regardless of what actually caused the incidents). If we should see a further incident with a JAL aircraft, he may have no choice but to ban JAL from ever flying to Boston again, revoke their FAA certificate (not that a state governor has that authority), or perhaps shut down Logan Airport entirely. After all, these aircraft fly only 100s of feet above the houses of adjacent neighborhoods of Revere, Chelsea, and South Boston. I'll leave it to the residents of Chelsea to devise some pithy slogan to chant outside baggage claim at Terminal E.

Or maybe I'm getting my issues mixed up...

Seriously, Boeing/JAL/NTSB need to get to the bottom of this ASAP. It's entirely possible that the issue could be improper maintenance (either in Boston or Tokyo) rather than a design issue. Incidents aren't completely unexpected with new aircraft - someone else mentioned a number of A380 incidents early on. They can be due to ground crew doing maintenance on a new and unfamiliar aircraft (which can happen anywhere - I wouldn't jump to a language issue). We'll need to wait to hear what the NTSB has to say, but they do a remarkably good job - one of the reasons why air travel now has entered an era of unprecedented safety.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You should watch a program called Air Crash Investigations on NatGeo channel.

I actually love that show, despite the fact that I travel (i.e. fly) frequently for my line of work. Some of the incidents portrayed are horrific; nearly all are due to pilot error, poor judgment of weather, or maintenance on the ground cutting corners. The show does a good job of showing how investigators (particularly the NTSB) learn from accidents and put effective corrections and retraining in place. The fact is that air travel in the developed world is safer than it's ever been.

One thing evident from studying plane crashes is that it's rarely one single failure, but rather a cascade of failures (compounded by incorrect or inappropriate human responses) that cause them. We'll have to wait to see a full report before pointing fingers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@techno

The management of American company, Alaska Airlines, took safety so "seriously" by spitting upon a regular maintenance of aircrafts. As a result , an American aircraft MD-83 (Alaska Airlines Flight 261) with jammed and broken trimmable horizontal stabilizer fell into the ocean, killing all people onboard.

The fact that you go back 12 years to find a case to support your point achieves the opposite, Techno.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@FPSRussia

All of this has to be translated and if they didn't translate it properly.....well why am I saying IF. Obviously it wasn't communicated to JALs maintenance engineers cause it already happened.

Seems the Boeing engineers also can't read English. Weren't both the planes involved delivered in December last year? That is, after the airworthiness directive was issued. Set aside for one moment that you think JAL engineers can't handle English (and btw, Boeing are onsite in Tokyo too as they ramp up support for this new product), should Boeing have corrected the problem on the product BEFORE they delivered, or is the rush to get the planes out before year end more important? OR, as is eluded to y the Boeing official, should we all wait until a thorough investigation of all the issues is conducted and completed before jumping to conclusions?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Hide Read the article title.

Second JAL 787 incident in 2 days raises questions about Dreamliner

It does NOT read Second BOEING 787. It' says "Second JAL 787. It doesn't say BOEING Dreamliner. IT says "Dreamliner"

The blame for these incidents is squarely on JAL. It's all on JAL. You want to defend bankrupt JAL, good luck with that. I have already POSTED the FACTS from the NTSB and ATA clearly instructing JAL to complete repairs to critical systems prior to the incident.

You can't DISPUTE FACTS. Your only digging a deeper hole for yourself. Showing that you did NOT read the facts which leads to speculation that JAL probably didn't read the AD from the ATA. Putting lives at risk.

It's not an assumption. What I posted came from the online report from the ATA. FACT!! If you keep this up, you'll just make yourself look more and more like Mitt Romney.

Her'e's the link to the report. http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAD.nsf/0/186b58ceddbc01c186257acb0054fe1d/$FILE/2012-24-07.pdf

Comprehend it if you can.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Readers, please do not be impolite to one another.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FPSRussia, er no, not exactly. Read the first paragraph and the article is clearly about Dreamliners.

"A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 that was to fly to Tokyo was grounded in Boston Tuesday following a fuel spill, one day after another plane of the same type suffered a fire, government officials said."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Moderator Your comment has been noted. Please forgive my frustration. I did my research on this story. I have posted the link for fellow readers. It contains factual information that airworthiness directives were issued to airline carriers that operate 787's

It clearly state that inspections and corrective measures must be taken within 21 days of the AD or NO further flights for that particular aircraft.

With the initial AD set at November 25 and another AD in early December, JAL had enough time to address the issues. These incidents could have been avoided. IMO opinion there has been some negligence on the part of JAL. If they could not resolve the issue before "Oshogatsu" then 787 service should have been terminated until the corrective measures could be implemented.

Nothing further to add. I've already posted a factual report showing that the FAA and Boeing alerted carriers such as JAL and United to critical systems that may have been impaired. As such, Boeing, the FAA, NTSB and ATA acted in the highest standards when it came to public safety. JAL was aware of these problems and did nothing about it and as a result...here we are.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@FPSRussia - but as I pointed out earlier, the work on the AD and the issue of the AD itself was before the plane was delivered to JAL in December. Shouldn't we wait for the results of the investigation by NTSB and Boeing before apportioning blame?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am just wondering, how do you know that this particular incident is due to the same "improperly installed lockwire" issue reported in the AD ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@The passage

Fair enough. I don't want to make this a battle. I applaud the moderator's efforts to defuse this. I'm objective and willing to consider the possibility that Boeing did not get the recipe right.

However, the link to the AD I read was very recent and expressed a sense of urgency that IMO JAL (whether they are guilty or not) did not act accordingly. Those flights should have been grounded and this should be a different article altogether.

Boeing is responsible for design flaws....yes. Give them the time to fix it. JAL is responsible for the safety of it's passengers......yes. You have a directive in hand from the FAA. If proper repairs cannot be made, you ground the planes and call your lawyers, Boeing, we lost business cause of this.. Hoping you agree that public safety is paramount.

I suppose my take is all this is to emphasize that the private companies that we have put our faith in, our trust, are failing when it comes to public safety.

If you can dish it out, you should be able to handle it. I've read countless articles questioning the safety of the Osprey but when it's Japan's turn in the barrel someone wants to call criticism as racism.

All I did was show these readers that JAL knew. They knew. Thank God nobody died. Those planes should have never gotten off the ground.

We'll see though.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Eppee Okay, now that you are listening. I read on another site, of course an aviation site, that discussed the design flaws and OEM for certain parts. There was the lithium battery incident and now the fuel leaks.

The AD I posted focused more on the fuel leaks. The APU (Auxilary Power Unit) which is connected to lithium style batteries is not what was in question. It was the batteries and the connections themselves. These parts were not designed by BOEING. Let me show you that link.

This is a quick read. http://www.airlinereporter.com/tag/united-airlines/ United Airlines was one of the first one of the problems.

Then there are these guys who live and breath airplane stuff. http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55693

You have to read all the way down to the bottom as they researched who actually made those parts.

My point is JAL knew about these problems. That's the breach of trust.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

One little important bit -

United also confirmed that this diversion was unrelated to the latest FAA Airworthiness Directive to all 787 operators that required mandatory inspections to the fuel feed systems. The FAA implemented these mandatory checks this week, which had already been recommended by Boeing. United’s 787s have already undergone the inspections for the fuel systems & Davis confirmed that United would continue to work closely with Boeing and the FAA to determine what went wrong with flight 1146.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

As some others have said, these two JAL incidents aren't the only problems to befall the in-service Dreamliners... a few other airlines have had problems.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm inclined to agree with the idea that it was possibly a communication failure, probably caused by language difficulties. Boeing and JAL need to work together to save themselves future problems. Human to human baton touch is needed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"A Boeing statement said it would be “premature” to discuss Monday’s incident prior to a complete investigation."

How is it irresponsible? It would irresponsible to DECIDE on a definite cause without investigation, sure. Anyway, there should ALSO be discussion about grounding the planes and carrying out further safety checks on all parts until the cause of the leak can be continued. Two accidents in two days is pretty serious, and could have been a LOT more so if they got any further into their flights.

Also, I just want to add that it's a surprise two dreamilers have had accidents in two days, but not really a surprise for JAL. They are constantly cutting staff in order to make more money, and some of those staff are maintenance.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@FPSRussia et al:

Since entering service in October 2011 the plane has repeatedly made headlines for mechanical problems. In July 2012, the FAA investigated an incident in which a 787 engine made by General Electric Co blew apart on the ground in South Carolina, prompting changes in how the engines are made, maintained and inspected. A similar engine failed on a Boeing 747 in Shanghai in September.

The Dreamliner's run of electrical mishaps began on 4 December 2012 when a United Airlines flight from Houston to Newark, New Jersey, made an emergency landing after it appeared that one of its power generators failed. United later said an electrical panel was at fault. On 13 December Qatar Airways said it had grounded one of its three 787 jets because of the same problem. On 17 December, United said a second 787 in its fleet had developed electrical issues.

Also in December, the FAA ordered inspections of 787s after fuel leaks were found on two aircraft operated by foreign airlines. The leaks stemmed from incorrectly assembled fuel line couplings, which could result in loss of power or engine fire, the FAA said.

NOTHING to do with lanuage difficulties, THE Japanese or any other of the spurious notions you're conjuring up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ANA has just reported a Dreamliner brake failure today

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact that you go back 12 years to find a case to support your point achieves the opposite, Techno.

12 years or more - it does not matter. FPS wrote about "serious attitude to safety of passengers" in America. The American documentary showed that some American company deliberately cut maintenance procedures, simply spitting on safety of passengers.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Every aircraft has had glitches. The Dreamliner is going to rule ths skies like the 747 did.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Not being able to read the instructions in foreign language has more to do with their educational level." FPSRussia assumes that to be a good engineer/technician one has to be able to read and speak foreign languages, (read English). I have worked with very intelligent American engineers who could not speak a word of any language besides English, but they were still very good engineers. Or Mr. FPS believes that English is the only language of instruction in the world? Very poor understanding of the world, if not outright arrogance at its worst form.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thunderbrid2, "As some others have said, these two JAL incidents"

The article says there was only one JAL incident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oops. My bad, apologies to Thunderbird2 and the moderators. The other fuel incident was also JAL. I guess I was trying to point out that the article was concerned not with JAL so much as with the Dreamliner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FPSRussia

Responsibility for the aircrafts safety now lies with owner of the aircraft.

It's pretty simple really. Boeing sold the aircraft. After proper inspections JAL and ANA now operate the aircraft. Now if they can't read the instruction manual in English then it's their problem. Boeing is not responsible for pre-flight inspection and regular maintenance. That's JAL's duty. It doesn't surprise me that both incidents involve JAL

It all comes down to cutbacks. You can't forget so quickly that JAL just came out of bankruptcy. How do you do that in just under a year? You have to cut costs somewhere. Bankruptcy by a major airline is something to fear. It's not like a doughnut shop going out of business. This company puts lives at risk.

You might say FPS, why so negative? Why blame these safety problems on the Japanese and not Boeing? The attitude comes from these events: TEPCO, NEXCO, Toyota. Companies that overlook safety. Companies that eyeball check the safety of aging tunnels. Companies that flat out lie to the public about safety conditions and possible hazards so they can keep a buck in their pocket.

These guys do long division and the risks of lawsuits are cheaper than completing necessary repairs for public safety.

I do believe Boeing should be very much involved cause they designed the aircraft BUT......BUT....when it comes to safety, deep checks are required before taking off. Trying to squeeze in as many flights as possible on a skeleton crew because you are trying to turn a profit after filing bankruptcy should scare anybody who flies.

The buck stops with the owner when it comes to any transportation operator.

I would have no problem in traveling with ANA or JAL,but would not have the guts to fly in a Russian plane aeroflot. According to Traveler magazine,at the end of 1994 Aeroflot won the trophy once again the worst airline in the world, behind China's Air lines and Air India. Russians are famous for being irresponsible and arrogant. Chernobyl is a good example..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That's JAL's duty. It doesn't surprise me that both incidents involve JAL.

I hope you changed your mind now that ANA had also problems with the Dreamliner. Or they also "can't read the manual"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Antonios_M

No, ANA didn't have a problem with their 787. Their plane, as designed, pointed out a worn part to them that required replacement. The part was inspected, replaced, and the plane flew after a delay. How is that a problem? But if a witch hunt is what you want, why aren't you asking why the ANA maintenance crew didn't notice before the plane's computer that the part in question was worn to the point that it needed to be replaced? That's the only cause for concern if you ask me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FYI, following the discovery of this fuel leak, this JAL 787 was inspected, cleared for normal operation, and flew back to Tokyo after just a four hour delay. Ten bucks says the ground crew failed to close the fueling valve properly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@FPSRussia

Has JAL been issues with other airplanes ? If it's their maintenance guys' negligence or incapability, then they would be having similar issues with other airplanes.

that's why your arguments fail

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites