Japan identifies leaks, other 787 problems

TOKYO — Japanese authorities have identified the causes of fuel leaks and other problems with Boeing’s 787 but are still investigating the more serious battery problem that forced an emergency landing in January and the worldwide grounding of the jets.

An oil leak was caused by an improper paint job that led to a switch not working properly, while inadequate taping led to cracks in cockpit glass, and a faulty part led to braking problems, according to the Transport Ministry’s investigation released Friday into problems that occurred with the 787 Dreamliner in January.

The government issued orders to fix the problems with 787s operated by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, the country’s two major carriers and the biggest customers for Boeing Co.’s new jet.

All 50 of the 787 jets in service around the world have been grounded for more than a month after a lithium-ion battery in a 787 operated by ANA overheated Jan. 16, forcing an emergency landing in western Japan. Earlier in January, a lithium-ion battery caught fire in a Japan Airlines 787 parked in Boston.

Boeing and U.S. authorities are also investigating, but Friday’s findings shed little light on the main problem.

The 787 is the first jet to extensively use lithium-ion batteries, which weigh less, charge faster and are more powerful than other kinds of batteries. Japanese manufacturer GS Yuasa makes the batteries for Boeing.

The aircraft manufacturer said earlier this week that it intends to propose to U.S. federal regulators a temporary fix for the batteries. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity did not disclose details.

A fix for the 787 batteries would require stopping an uncontrolled overheating reaction called “thermal runaway,” in which the battery gets hotter and hotter, and short-circuits spread from one battery cell to another.

The battery problems are not necessarily linked to their manufacturer and could come from the myriads of parts and systems connected to the battery.

Separately, the Japanese ministry said this week it had found the ANA jet’s auxiliary power unit had been erroneously wired to the main battery that overheated.

ANA, which has 17 Dreamliners in its fleet, and JAL, with seven, have had to cancel hundreds of flights over the 787 woes.

JAL and ANA have released plans for flights without the 787 through the end of March, but have not said what they plan to do in the long term. Both companies have said they are ready to seek compensation from Boeing.

More in Herald Business Journal

Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Before the buyout, 21st Century Fox will spin off the Fox network, stations and cable channels.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Angel of the Winds pays $3.4M for Everett arena naming rights

The casino replaces Xfinity as the lead sponsor for the publicly owned downtown Everett events center.

Delta orders 100 Airbus A321neo jets valued at $12.7 billion

Boeing had hoped to land the deal, offering comparable 737s.

Tulalips break ground on new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel

A 150-room hotel was added to what is now a $140 million complex expected to open in spring 2019.

What can be learned from the optimism of Churchill, Elon Musk

A new movie, “The Dark Years,” depicts Winston Churchill during the perilous… Continue reading

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Most Read