ANA finds wiring problems on three Boeing 787s

Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner suffered a fresh setback after ANA Holdings Inc., the model’s biggest operator, said it discovered wiring defects in three aircraft.

The fault, found in the fire-suppression system of a 787 due to depart Tokyo’s Haneda airport today, would cause the wrong extinguisher to be activated in the event of a blaze in one of the plane’s two engines, spokeswoman Megumi Tezuka said.

Boeing’s flagship jet is already under scrutiny following a fire in London last month that initial findings suggested may have been sparked by wires for an emergency beacon. The 787 had returned to service with ANA and Japan Airlines on June 1 after a global grounding in the wake of fires involving jets flown by the pair, later traced to the failure of lithium-ion batteries.

“We will thoroughly examine this issue and take the appropriate steps,” Boeing spokesman Rob Henderson said from Tokyo following the latest incident. “The safety of those flying on Boeing airplanes is our top priority.”

Boeing fell as much as 1 percent and was trading 0.8 percent lower at $105.4 as of 9:47 a.m. in New York. The stock has advanced 40 percent this year.

JAL Turnaround

ANA’s Tezuka said parts were replaced in two of the jets in which the Tokyo-based carrier found the defect, adding it must have occurred during the manufacturing process. The third aircraft will also be fixed by the end of the day, she said.

Japan Air today ordered a 787 bound for Helsinki to return to Narita airport in Tokyo as a precautionary measure after being informed of the new wiring issue by the national Transport Ministry, company spokesman Seiji Takaramoto said.

The carrier subsequently inspected all 10 of its 787s and found no problems, he said. Among other Dreamliner operators, LOT Polish Airlines SA said its planes are flying as scheduled, while Qatar Airways Ltd. said it has had no problems and Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA said it was unaware of the issue.

“These things happen with a new aircraft,” said Robert Stallard, an analyst at RBC Capital in London with an “outperform” rating on Chicago-based Boeing. “When the airlines ground the plane or regulators start becoming involved, then it becomes something to watch out for.”

Transmitters

U.S. regulators ordered Dreamliner operators to check emergency radio transmitters for wire damage after a beacon was linked to the July 12 fire in London. The Federal Aviation Administration is working with Boeing to develop instructions for the inspections, the agency said at the time.

Boeing had delivered 73 Dreamliners to 13 customers through August 7, the company said on its website, with more than 29,000 flights flown. Japan is the biggest customer of the jet.

Dreamliner operators resumed services after a three-month grounding over the battery fires when authorities approved a redesign including more protection around individual cells to contain overheating. Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise was first to restart flights in April, with the Japanese carriers opting for a four-month halt as they took out ads saying the 787 was safe.

More in Herald Business Journal

An Alaska Airlines Embraer 175. The carrier plans to use this model on routes to and from Paine Field in Everett. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines hopes to be a decent neighbor in Everett

Diana Birkett Rakow shared aspects of the company’s philosophy as keynote at an Economic Alliance event.

Get ready for the era of hypersonic flight — at Mach 5

The Pentagon sees hypersonic weaponry as a potential game changer.

Safe saves Everett Office Furniture’s future after fire

The business was able to reopen because vital paperwork was preserved.

Why real estate investors are watching self-driving cars closely

With decisions on real estate made years in advance, could self-driving cars change how we live?

More than 60 Boeing 737s per month: Can suppliers keep up?

There was lots of talk this week about the prudence and pressures of soaring production rates.

Developer proposes an 18-story building in Lynnwood

It would be the second-tallest in the county and include apartments with retail space.

Snohomish County business licenses

PLEASE NOTE: Business license information is obtained monthly from the Washington Secretary… Continue reading

New Everett mayor speaks out about business in city, region

Q&A: Cassie Franklin on what can be done to get Boeing to build the 797 here and attract new industries.

Aerospace analyst explains how he’ll help state’s Boeing bid

Richard Aboulafia will deliver a report on Washington’s strengths and weaknesses in landing the 797.

Most Read