One of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners of Japan Airlines Co (JAL) has been grounded in Tokyo. The airline announced on January 15, 2014 that it temporarily grounded its Dreamliner at the Narita International Airport in Tokyo, after white smoke was noticed outside the aircraft and a battery cell was reported to be leaking.
The recent incident raised additional concerns about the safety and reliability of the aircraft, almost one year after the international Dreamliner fleet needed to be grounded by regulators after the overheating of batteries. Boeing explained that it was aware of the 787 problem which occurred on January 14, 2014 at Narita and that this might have happened due to the venting of just one battery.
Venting is the process in which fumes and heat are being channeled outside the plane when the battery overheating occurs. The company added, “The issue occurred during scheduled maintenance activities with no passengers on board”. Boeing also explained that the improvements made to the 787 battery system in 2013 seem to have worked according to the design.
On January 16, 2013, regulators grounded the worldwide fleet and the 787s stayed grounded for over three months while the company redesigned the battery charger and containment system. So far, the cause of the battery problem has not been determined.
Photo Credits: Komonews