787 grounded in Japan

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All Nippon Airways has ground its fleet of 17 Boeing 787s after an aircraft made an emergency landing following a suspected battery problem. There are also unconfirmed reports that Japan Airlines has followed suit.

The incident, which comes hard on the heels of a battery fire in a JAL 787 on the ground at Boston Logan International Airport on Jan 7, occurred during an ANA flight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to Yamaguchi in western Japan on Jan 15. The aircraft, carrying 129 passengers and eight crew, diverted to Takamatsu after smoke was reportedly detected in the flightdeck.

Details of the incident, and of reports of a battery malfunction being detected on the engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS), remain unconfirmed. Boeing says that it “working with our customer” but not offering additional comment at this time.

The incident comes as Japanese investigators and representatives of the Japan-based battery manufacturer, GS Yuasa, join the NTSB-led investigation into last week’s battery fire at Boston. The lithium-ion batteries, of which the 787 has two, are part of the Thales supplied electrical power conversion system, and are the focus for the investigation.

ANA says the fleet is being grounded for inspections, and expects to update the situation within the next few hours.

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