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ANA, JAL switched many Dreamliner batteries

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10 times in 1 year is too much! Even across multiple aircraft!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Time to get the old batteries back

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I'm surprised this announcement came out so late. They're a month into this investigation already. I'd think that this would be one of the first thing that would've been checked out.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Speed, it probably was - just the info not given out because well, Japan inc.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

ANA had not reported the replacements to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) because “the 10 problems were found before flights so were considered not to affect safety”, Yamamoto said.

Not an excuse. They should know full well that anything and everything affects safety in aviation and reporting issues that seem minor to them, if reported, may paint a more serious picture when combined with reports from other operators. That's precisely why there's a database.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

According to what I've read elsewhere, this story was first broken by the NYT and other foreign media, and only then in Japan (when there was no hiding it anymore, I guess). Why does everything have to be like that? I am so sick of the lack of responsible journalism here.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Ah, safety Japan! Don't release it to the public until the hands have been caught in the cookie jar -- and only then after weeks of denials and assurances it's safe. And these companies ask us to fork out a lot of dough and trust us with their lives.

Keep them grounded.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Wasn't reported ?? I'm always watching the show mayday about plane disasters . It repetitively shows that all maintenance is logged or recorded (in some cases not recorded ). So above saying it wasn't reported is a obvious mistake as well. It will be interesting when they actually show the cause of these issues. So far all their tests and reports haven't come up with anything that hasn't already been said 500+ times. Safety standards in Japan seem to be ignored for a large part until disasters or near disasters occur. Hopefully the microscopic tests they are running now point to the root cause or the inspections of all other aircraft turn up the beginnings of this problem so they can understand what is causing the battery/electrical issues.

Looks like Boeing is going to record some major losses this year.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Ah, safety Japan! Don't release it to the public until the hands have been caught in the cookie jar -- and only then after weeks of denials and assurances it's safe. And these companies ask us to fork out a lot of dough and trust us with their lives.

Keep them grounded.

I think so too. I hate to say this, but it might realistically take up to two years respectively before we really know if there are real serious faults or if they worked out all the bugs. But smith, that has been my argument for many, many years. When I book a flight. I'm always happy to see the 747, 777 or 767 these planes are proven and time tested. I think these problems with Boeing are just the tip of the iceberg.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

FadamorJan. 31, 2013 - 07:21AM JST

10 times in 1 year is too much! Even across multiple aircraft!

Hardly too much. There's a dozen packs in each plane, and any minor problem means a new battery. Unless of course you have statistics for NiCd and lead-acid batteries, but I didn't see that in the post or article.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Way to go JL NH!!!

Once again its bury, hide, lie, dont tell, so VERY Japan Inc!

And I have to fly to/fm Osaka 4times this weekend...........

Once again the old saying, "Everythings ok unless you get caught" comes to mind WTF!

Just another example of incompetence, maybe we should term these as doing a Tepco!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"But they said last week there were no signs of a battery fire, while information gleaned from the flight’s digital data recorder showed the power pack did not suffer a rapid surge in voltage.

The pack’s voltage, in fact, had been at normal levels before it rapidly plunged ahead of the system alert that forced the emergency landing..."

The rapid lunge in charge is just as bad as a rapid surge! Charging a depleted lithium ion battery like can also cause fires! Either way, there are MAJOR problems with these batteries!

A CNN article I read yesterday said that the NTSB had not found any major problems at the Yuasa battery plant(i.e. 'nothing that could account for the problems that are occurring'). So you gotta wonder what the heck is going on here...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

LOL! "rapid lunge" !!! Typo: 申し訳ありませんでした!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mlg4035Jan. 31, 2013 - 12:16PM JST

The rapid lunge in charge is just as bad as a rapid surge!

Drops in voltage can be caused by internal shots, and internal shorts are the #2 cause of battery fires after poor charging profiles (possibly #1 cause, but I've seen too many people trying to charge Li-ion packs with a NiCd charger ).

Charging a depleted lithium ion battery like can also cause fires!

Li-ion batteries typically shut down before they are ever depleted, so charging low charge batteries is fine. Charging them in cold environments on the other hand is bad, since it takes the lithium out of solution (and makes it far more dangerous lithium metal).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Ironic isn't it... that the battery was Japanese made. Perhaps Boeing should think again about their supplier.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Boeing is getting such a bad wrap for this while GS Yuasa seems to be sneaking underneath the media radar.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

ANA and JAL are important Dreamliner customers who have so far ordered a combined 111 aircraft.

Ooookay, that explains a lot. As a frequent flier (on both airlines), I want to know: what else are they hiding? What else have they been lying about? So disgusted.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Why didn't this information come to the public's attention on the FIRST day the FAA grounding of these planes? It probably was, "We need to review our records and e-mails." Many writers argued that there would not be competition to find out why the problem occurred while others said there would be a desire to be first to find the cause, and point a finger at the company. This information would have really helped EARLIER. Fortunately, no lives were lost. Unfortunately, confidence in big business and the government has been jeopardized.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TessaJan. 31, 2013 - 01:46PM JST

Ooookay, that explains a lot. As a frequent flier (on both airlines), I want to know: what else are they hiding?

They are hiding that every other airplane has also had major issues that make this one look like a joke. From rudder malfunctions in the 737 to explosive decompression of 777s in flight. And guess what? They are still safer per passenger mile than any other form of transport

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

ANA had not reported the replacements to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) because “the 10 problems were found before flights so were considered not to affect safety”, Yamamoto said.

This is the most terrifying statement of all. You can't perform maintenance inspections while the plane is flying. So of course all maintenance inspections are performed "before flights". Are we to assume that ANA does not report any findings from its maintenance inspections to the regulator at all?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They are still safer per passenger mile than any other form of transport.

Well, that's okay then! No more safety checks are needed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Speed, it probably was-just the info not given out because well, Japan Inc."

Japan Inc. prevents progress, (in case successfully covered up, BS Yuasa may lose chance of improvement) distort things, turn otherwise one of the best nations in the world into serious recession. Now the country is reaping what it saw. Next candidate? China Inc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A new drop of news, but it still does not lead to the next obvious question. This reminds me of the way Tepco has constantly released news, in isolation with no lateral considerations. A random tree here and there, but never any view of the forest.

We should be hearing that the problematical off-loaded batteries were sent back to the manufacturers for checking, yes (surely), and in reply reports showed that.... c'mon, well, ....something for goodness sake! Surely.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ANA had not reported the replacements to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) because “the 10 problems were found before flights so were considered not to affect safety”, Yamamoto said.

The wings kept falling off but it didn't happen in the air so we didn't report it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Darn, and I wanted to fly one one of those new airplanes. Hope they get this sorted out soon!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tom

You really want to go that plane soon. I want to wait a few years just to be on the safe side. My life is worth far more than a Dreamliner, I'm patient and will be for awhile. Thank you very much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bass4funkJan. 31, 2013 - 07:48PM JST

You really want to go that plane soon. I want to wait a few years just to be on the safe side. My life is worth far more than a Dreamliner, I'm patient and will be for awhile.

Technically, you're more likely to die in any other major airliner, other than the 777 and A380.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The wings kept falling off but it didn't happen in the air so we didn't report it.

Yep!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Did ANA replace the batteries or did ANA have Boeing replace the batteries? If ANA replaced the batteries with something other than what Boeing supplied, seems the problem is theirs. If I replace a major component in my car, the warranty is void.

I also wonder if we would've heard about the battery issue a lot sooner if they'd been sourced from somewhere other than Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

TrentonGaijinJan. 31, 2013 - 09:33PM JST

Did ANA replace the batteries or did ANA have Boeing replace the batteries?

ANA replaced the batteries, then they sent Boeing a report saying they replaced the batteries. AP version of the article was far better at explaining it.

If ANA replaced the batteries with something other than what Boeing supplied, seems the problem is theirs.

The battery is a Boeing certified design but made by a Japanese company and QC'ed only by the Japanese company, which is why the Japanese airlines and component makers want to pin as much blame on Boeing as possible.

If I replace a major component in my car, the warranty is void

If you replace a battery, no warranty is void, not on your car, not on the plane. The maintenance crew is always certified to work on the model, so it's no different than having the dealer mechanics in your garage.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I also wonder if we would've heard about the battery issue a lot sooner if they'd been sourced from somewhere other than Japan.

Well, if it had been China you would've heard about it all right!

the Japanese airlines and component makers want to pin as much blame on Boeing as possible.

Now we're talking. I sense a blame game is going on, and I also sense that Japan Inc. is not going to emerge unscathed. Right now I feel sorry for the battery manufacturers.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

TessaJan. 31, 2013 - 11:01PM JST

Right now I feel sorry for the battery manufacturers.

You shouldn't since only GS Yuasa makes the batteries. No matter what happens, they keep their contracts for now. And regardless of what turns out to be the immidiate cause of the issue, the ultimate cause is GS Yuasa not living up to its promise of safety systems built into each one of their LVP10/65 cells used in these batteries.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Usually in safety-related applications when you have field failures of safety-relevant components, every single fail sample is sent back to the manufacturer for investigation and there are very strict time lines for the manufacturer to provide a reply as to what is the cause of the defect, what countermeasures will be taken or in the rare case that they think countermeasures are not necessary, a thorough explanation why that is the case. It doesn't matter when the fail is detected, whether in maintenance or operation. I cannot believe that such kind of procedures are not mandatory in aviation.

I find it strange when ANA states that they had not reported the early battery replacements to the JTSB. What are the legal requirements? But whatever their reporting to JTSB, I'm 100% convinced they reported the problems to GS Yuasa and/or Boeing, as otherwise they would take a large liability themselves which they could easily shift to others. After decades in the business, ANA and JAL will surely have automatic procedures in place which handle the reporting.

This leads to the question as to what were the results of the investigations on all these failed batteries? These reports must exist when the first fails were so many months ago. What about other airlines? Even though ANA and JAL operate the majority of 787s, the number of failed batteries is so large that other companies must have noted and reported the same problems. If yes, what were the conclusions? If not, why haven't they noticed? Is there a difference in procurement between ANA/JAL and the others?

There is still a lot in the story which we haven't been told yet...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@bass4funk: I'll be happy to get on the 787 the day it starts flying again. With all the controversy it will be the safest time to fly the thing, much like September 12th 2001 was the safest day to get on a plane (RIP). You say you are happy to get on a 747, 767....AND a 777? I love being on a 777 and am frequently, but the thing didn't fly until 1995 and had numerous problems during its first (very recent) years. You REALLY need to do some proper research before posting such over-reactionary comments.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They should have check battery connector and other electronic units instead of changing battery many times. They fail to proper investigate on Battery problem and doing easy job by changing battery is wrong. For example, my Sony Mobile which only charge half or less when I charge using Sony factory charger direct connect to mobile phone. The battery was fully charged and nothing wrong with battery after I taken out battery and charge with wall unit. Are they sent half charged battery back factory for investigation? I think ANA maintenance Engineers are partly blamed for problem.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Boeing claims the batteries were replaced as part of maintenance and therefore this is not a safety issue. What infantile statement; maintainence itself is performed to try to preclude failures in order to prevent in-flight safety consequences.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@theresident

The (777) didn't fly until 1995 and had numerous problems during its first (very recent) years. You REALLY need to do some proper research

Wiki says the first flight was mid 1994, and since you're the one who has done all the research, maybe you should amend the obviously inaccurate Wiki page.

Since we critics have failed to do our "research," maybe you could enlighten us of the "teething problems" that were on par with that of the 787: was the entire global fleet of 777s grounded indefinitely a little over a year of delivery? Were the airlines at the time demanding financial compensation from Boeing, as ANA is planning now for the 787? Were there evacuations of all passengers onboard, involving deployment of escape chutes, due to chemical fires, etc?

The Boeing spin doctors are also using the "777 also had teething problems" argument, but they don't seem to offer much elaboration beyond that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The company didn't check and double check (Climber's High movie reference)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hardly too much. There's a dozen packs in each plane, and any minor problem means a new battery. Unless of course you have statistics for NiCd and lead-acid batteries, but I didn't see that in the post or article.

You must have missed this, then:

ANA said the particular battery involved had been installed in October, ahead of the expected two-year replacement cycle.

So on only a 17 plane fleet, 10 batteries were replaced in less than half the expected life-cycle for failure to perform as designed. The MTBF for these battery packs is abysmal. I stand by my statement. Ten failures in one year is TOO MUCH.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

FadamorFeb. 01, 2013 - 10:49PM JST

So on only a 17 plane fleet, 10 batteries were replaced in less than half the expected life-cycle for failure to perform as designed. The MTBF for these battery packs is abysmal. I stand by my statement. Ten failures in one year is TOO MUCH.

Not 10 of 17, 10 of about 200 batteries, since you have a few battery packs per "ship battery". Certainly less than the 3 out of 1000 that would be the minimum acceptable, but not deathtrap bad either.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not 10 of 17, 10 of about 200 batteries, since you have a few battery packs per "ship battery". Certainly less than the 3 out of 1000 that would be the minimum acceptable, but not deathtrap bad either.

I never said "10 of 17" but you knew that already. Let's take YOUR numbers and put them into an easy to understand sentence:

5% of the batteries on ANA's seventeen Boeing 787's failed at or before half of their expected replacement date. JAL didn't give specific numbers, but also reported, "Quite a few" needed changing.

How many people do YOU know who would fly on aircraft that had an important safety part with a 5% premature failure rate? 5% is TOO MUCH for something expected to operate all the aircraft controls in the case of engine failure.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

FadamorFeb. 02, 2013 - 06:04AM JST

How many people do YOU know who would fly on aircraft that had an important safety part with a 5% premature failure rate?

Did you even read my response? Look again, stop assuming things that aren't true.

5% is TOO MUCH for something expected to operate all the aircraft controls in the case of engine failure

Mainship batteries are actually the third source of power, fourth if you include each engine separately. If both engines fail, you have much more to worry about than just loss of battery, but at least you'll have the backup generator and the aux batteries as well. There are multiple redundancies in the aircraft, but if engines fail midflight, the control redundancies are going to do jack if you're over the north pole or pacific ocean.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

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