Battery problems resurfaced on Boeing's 787 on Tuesday, after gas was discovered coming out of a battery on a plane parked in Tokyo.
Boeing (BA) said the problem on a Japan
Airlines 787 was discovered during scheduled maintenance. No passengers were on
board. The company said it appears that a single battery cell
"vented," or released gas.
The incident comes a year after a fire
in a lithium ion battery aboard a Japan Airlines 787 parked at Boston's Logan
International Airport. That was followed nine days later by another battery
incident that forced an emergency landing in Japan by an All Nippon Airways
Those problems prompted the FAA and
other authorities to ground all 787s for more than three months. The planes
began flying again after Boeing changed the battery system, adding a tougher
box to hold the battery and measures to contain any short-circuit or fire.
Boeing said those changes appear to
have worked as designed in the battery incident on Tuesday. It said it's
working with Japan Airlines to get the plane flying again.
Because the incident happened in Japan
and involved a Japanese airline, Japanese authorities would take the lead in
any investigation. If the Japan Transport Safety Board opens an investigation,
the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board "would certainly
participate," NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said.
The NTSB expects to finish its
investigation of the 787 fire in Boston by the end of March, and present
findings at a public meeting this fall.
"Anything we can learn about the
(latest) battery failure would be helpful" to the ongoing investigation,
Representatives for Japan Airlines did not respond to requests for comment.
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