FAA officials issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) requiring operators to cease operations of U.S.-registered Boeing 787 aircraft temporarily, in light of an in-flight Boeing 787 battery incident in Japan yesterday.
U.S. airlines must demonstrate to the FAA that the 787 batteries are safe and no longer pose a potential battery fire risk before further flight is permitted.
The FAA will work with the manufacturer and carriers to develop a corrective action plan to allow the U.S. 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.
This week’s in-flight Japanese battery incident followed a 787 battery incident on the ground in Boston on January 7, 2013. Another incident involved a lithium-ion battery.
“The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes,” says an FAA spokesperson. “The root cause of the failures currently is under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment.”
United Airlines, currently the only U.S. airline operating the 787, has six airplanes in service.