Dreamliners across the airline industry continue to be grounded for multiple problems. This time, Japan Airlines has had to ground its Boeing Dreamliner after it suffered from battery issues. Oddly enough, this comes just a year after both All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines had to ground their entire fleets of 787 planes after two batteries overheated.
According to Japan Airlines, it has temporarily grounded just one of its 787 Dreamliners. The company said that this happened after white smoke was seen coming from outside the plane. The pilot also said that he saw warning lights go off in the cockpit. This warning light was telling the pilot that there was a fault with one of the main batteries and chargers. As it turned out, one of the battery cells was leaking.
Boeing made a public statement saying that it is aware of the 787 issues that occurred at Narita International Airport. The plane manufacturer said that it believes this problem was caused by the venting of just a single battery cell.
The problem here is not the fact that Japan Airlines had to cancel a flight for one bad battery. The problem is that Japan Airlines and other airlines have all had to cancel flights due to bad batteries. It seems that the battery issues are always seen with the batteries on 787 jets.
In January of 2013, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways had two batteries on different 787 planes overheat within less than two weeks of each other. Now, nearly a year later, Japan Airlines continues to have problems with the same jet model.
The last time this happened, global regulators said that it was necessary to ground the worldwide fleet of 787 planes until the issue could be worked out. These planes remained grounded for more than three months. During this time, Boeing worked hard to redesign the battery, changing the containment and charger systems. All of this was done to ensure that the batteries were no longer a fire risk.
This past Tuesday, maintenance engineers for Japan Airlines said that they saw white smoke coming from the cockpit. By the time they went outside the plane, the smoke had completely dispersed. When the engineers returned to the cockpit, they were greeted by warning lights. These lights indicated that there was a possible fault with the main battery and/or its charger. When they went to check on the battery, they found that one of the eight cells was active, and there as a liquid coming out.
This plane was set to depart Tokyo Narita International Airport and head to Bangkok. The 158 passengers that were supposed to board the 787 were transferred to a different 787. So far, this is just one event of a bad battery. However, it if happens again, the industry might be looking at another grounding of the worldwide 787 fleet. This could spell bad news for Boeing, which has been losing ground to Airbus for some time now.