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Another 787 electrical/smoke incident (on ground)

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Another 787 electrical/smoke incident (on ground)

Old 9th Jan 2013, 03:02
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: fort sheridan, il
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Fuel Leak Cause

boys and girls...unless there is a seperate thread for the 787 fuel leak at beantown airport, I think this theory should be talked about.

as most of you guys know, big planes have big fuel tanks in the wings...among other places

but there are usually installed very small ''overflow'' tanks or ''vent tanks". the TV images seemed to show fuel coming out of the PORT (left) wing near the tip. IF the fuel tanks were filled prior to a freaking long flight to tokyo and over filled or heat expansion and a rapid turn while taxiing, the fuel may have spilled out of the vent/overflow tank.

I've seen it happen on other planes...perhaps someone has a nice view of the fuel system on the new wonder jet.

and yes the airbus is crap...the last good boeings were made by douglas
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 03:10
  #62 (permalink)  
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The cause of the batteries overheating is not yet known.
Hell I have seen a battery run away on a classic 737.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 04:26
  #63 (permalink)  
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"...the last good boeings were made by douglas"
Would that be the MD-11's?
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 05:20
  #64 (permalink)  
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Statement from Randy here: Update on 787 event in Boston

The smoke was later traced to the battery used to start the auxiliary power unit.

We can’t talk about any specific details while the investigation is ongoing. But I can tell you that nothing we’ve seen in this case indicates a relationship to any previous 787 power system events, which involved power panel faults elsewhere in the aft electrical equipment bay.
Considering the type of battery the lack of damage to the surroundings is reassuring (not that I'd like a mouthful of that smoke).
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 05:24
  #65 (permalink)  
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"...the last good boeings were made by douglas"
Would that be the MD-11's?
'Shirley' your not comparing the MD-11 'Turtle' to the B-787 'Firebird'.

Apologies for the authentic pilot forum spelling and grammer.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 05:43
  #66 (permalink)  
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Was there any hull damage such the plastic melting? I wonder did Thales stock fall any after the battery incident as they provide most of the electrical gadgetry : integrated cockpit displays, inflight entertainment, etc. All this ever increasing workload must require quite a hefty power source from transformers and rectifiers to maintain the power to the load. If most of it is DC at lower voltage this would mean higher currents which should mean heavier cabling and bigger AH standby batteries.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 06:09
  #67 (permalink)  
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Talking Battery diod

Now after the completion of the 787 training and going thru the synopticts it's clear that the earlier mentioned aft ( Apu) battery does not ave a diod. Simply because it does not need one - the fwd ( main) battery has it due to its connected to the main 28v f/o and capt instrument bus - basically everything in cockpit primary or secondary are 28 v dc and are normally fed thru generators via rectifiers . So the potential backloading to the battery is eminent ,so therefore it's fitted a diod to prevent that , then the only source to charge the battery will be thru the charger. However the aft battery ( Apu) is just about only used for the Apu start and will never ever feed into the normal 28 v system ( not connected to that) and the only source into the battery is via the charger so for that specific battery it's not needed a diod . The aft battery is used for Apu start and for some external lighting if aircraft is towed with no power and tow switch selected on.
Just some small info - I could post synopticts but I don't know how to . So whatever happened must have been something else than back power anyway .

Last edited by wings1011; 9th Jan 2013 at 06:23.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 06:12
  #68 (permalink)  
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Fuel Leak on Boeing

Hey, that is a lot of fuel to go up if it caught fire. What are the procedures for dealing with a fuel leak of this magnitude? Is there foam?
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 06:46
  #69 (permalink)  
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Any issues with Air India's 787s? I hear they have four now?
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 07:20
  #70 (permalink)  
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Latest NTSB press release:

Initial investigative findings include:

• The NTSB investigator on scene found that the auxiliary power unit battery had severe fire damage. Thermal damage to the surrounding structure and components is confined to the area immediately near the APU battery rack (within about 20 inches) in the aft electronics bay.

• Preliminary reports from Japan Airlines representatives indicate that airplane maintenance and cleaning personnel were on the airplane with the APU in operation just prior to the detection of smoke in the cabin and that Boston Logan Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting were contacted.

• Rescue and fire personnel and equipment responded to the airplane and detected a fire in the electronics and equipment bay near the APU battery box. Initial reports indicate that the fire was extinguished about 40 minutes after arrival of the first rescue and fire personnel. One firefighter received minor injuries.

Further investigative updates will be issued as events warrant. To be alerted to any updates or developments, please follow the NTSB on T.witter at t.witter.com/ntsb.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 10:54
  #71 (permalink)  
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The Austrian news site ORF.at reports (in German) another ANA 787 flight from Yamaguchi to Tokyo cancelled, this time due to brake problems.

Now, this is obviously unrelated to the two BOS incidents, and certainly the 787 (one already cringes at the word "dreamliner") is under some media scrutiny at the moment, possibly blowing minor things out of proportion. But still, there appear to be some teething problems on this type that need solving.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 11:10
  #72 (permalink)  

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New York Times has more (reporter in Hong Kong)
...the Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways cancelled a domestic flight after a computer on board erroneously showed problems with the aircraft’s brakes. A spokeswoman for the airline, Megumi Tezuka, said the computer glitch was similar to one that appeared when the carrier first started flying the Dreamliners in 2011. The flight NH698 had been due to depart from Yamaguchi Ube airport in southern Japan for Tokyo’s Haneda airport at 4:50 p.m. local time. The flight’s 98 passengers were transferred to a later flight.
Full report at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/bu...tion.html?_r=0

However you look at it, it's not a very happy new year for Boeing.

Last edited by Jetdriver; 9th Jan 2013 at 14:53.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 12:51
  #73 (permalink)  
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Fires in flight are acknowledged to be amongst the (if not the very) worst possible emergencies in an airliner (ignoring major structural failure).

In this case it has been reported that the fire was on the ground after disembarkation of passengers and occurred some time after starting the APU.

Suppressing and finally extinguishing the resulting fire presented a significant challenge to presumably well-equipped ground-based rescue and fire personnel.

Initial reports indicate that the fire was extinguished about 40 minutes after arrival of the first rescue and fire personnel.
A time of 40 minutes for ground personnel to contain and extinguish the fire does not give anyone a "warm fuzzy" feeling.

The APU battery is not accessible to the crew in-flight and so if it caught fire in-flight after the APU was started, only the aircraft fire indications, aircraft fire suppression/extinguishing systems could be used. This immediately brings into sharp focus exactly what is the capability of the inbuilt aircraft fire fighting systems in the case of a APU Battery fire?

Therefore the JAL APU Battery fire incident/accident would seem to qualify as a critical flight safety issue for the Boeing B787.

The "easy" workaround would seem to be to disable the APU battery and associated systems inflight, until an acceptable fix can be implemented.

But, nothing in aviation ever seems to be easy...and the Boeing/FAA political decisions based on sound engineering data and recommendations that need to be taken in this case will have to get it exactly correct.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 17:51
  #74 (permalink)  
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Re post #55.

Having just snatched a quick look at the lo res available here, I'm shocked at wiring installation standard. Surely that can't be the JAL aircraft?
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 18:17
  #75 (permalink)  
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As an engineer (and SLF) it has been my experience that true "spontaneous combustion" events with batteries, of any topology, are very rare. Incendiary battery events almost always occur under high current conditions, regardless of the root cause of failure (mechanical damage, manufacturing defect, overload, etc.). Since the APU was running rather than being started when the battery fire occurred, I would suspect an issue with the battery charging circuitry as opposed to a problem with the battery itself. I'm not sure if in-flight APU operation is possible on a 787, but if so, I agree with Flexible that it should be prohibited until a complete investigation/inspection is conducted. Just my 2¢ worth.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 18:27
  #76 (permalink)  
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Picture of baywiring

The red self annealing tape on the connector backshells looks colourful. Is this standard installation or has this aircraft had a rough time vibrating and chafing like a 10year old motor?
Alwaysairbus is offline  
Old 9th Jan 2013, 18:33
  #77 (permalink)  
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forget all those

details about charging circuits etc...

the "underlying fundamental" is that it was complete bullshit by some design engineers to spec Li Ions for the 787..

the 787 will become a very good airplane, I am sure, but to overcomplicate the new electrical architecture of that bird by specing Li Ions ( I know, I know, weight & power etc etc) when at that time all the big names in aircraft batteries for safety reasons wanted to stay away from that...

and the FAA did not feel comfortable at all, for all understandable reasons..

gimme a break, Cessna hat to retrofit the CJ 4 after their own demo burned down in their hangar in ICT when the bird was connected to a ground power which brought the Li Ion installed to flames...

I am positively sure that Boeing will have to temporarily fix that by retrofitting conventional batts to the bird and the FAA will in all certainty issue a corresponding AD....

every stupid seat cushion has to be fire blocked nowadays and then they are installing main ship batts into that bird, which at today's state of technology for Li Ions are just time bombs...and that on a bird which ultimately should qualify for 330 min ETOPS...

Darwin Awards, or what????

Last edited by falconer1; 9th Jan 2013 at 18:58.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 19:01
  #78 (permalink)  
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Having just snatched a quick look at the lo res available here, I'm shocked at wiring installation standard. Surely that can't be the JAL aircraft?
Whats wrong with knob and tube wiring?
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 19:07
  #79 (permalink)  
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Look at this link:

Acc. this the APU may be started and operated up to 43100 feet.

You suggest that the use of APU should be prohibited until the case has been investigated - sounds reasonable.

I flew the BOEING 767 for many years and on this type a serviceable APU was required for flying ETOPS - I do not know the requirements for the BOEING 787, but I assume that the rules are similar. If so, a ban on APU operation airborne would severely restrict the operational capabilities of the BOEING 787.

Check Wikipedia regard ETOPS - they have a good explanation!
Or instead you can check this FAA paper for a VERY comprehensive explanation:


Last edited by grebllaw123d; 9th Jan 2013 at 19:15.
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Old 9th Jan 2013, 19:10
  #80 (permalink)  
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I am sure an expert will come along shortly and expand but put very simply, ETOPS stands for either Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards or Extended Operations, depending who you speak to.

It is a set of rules that enable twin engined jets to fly over places that were only accessible to 4 engined jets. The ETOPS rules are there to satisfy the FAA requirement that you can reach an alternate airport in the case of an emergency diversion.

This effectively enabled twins to cross the Atlantic.( Because the 60 minute away airport could be at Greenland, then at Great Britain etc)

There are different levels of ETOPS certification, each allowing aircraft to fly on routes that are a certain amount of flying time away from the nearest airport. For example, if an aircraft is certified for 180 minutes, it is permitted to fly any route, as long as it is always within 180 minutes flying time to the nearest airport. ETOPS operation has no direct correlation to water or distance over water. It refers to single-engine flight times between diversion airfields, regardless as to whether such fields are separated by water or land.

Advances in technology ( 777 and hi bypass turbofans) meant that a twin can now safely cross the pacific. Thus there is ETOPS 120. This means that instead of 60 minutes airports can now be 120 minutes away.

ETOPS 180 and ETOPS 207 are also available. ETOPS 207 is only available to the 777.

Now ETOPS certified aircraft have to have some extra redundancy. Such as be able to light the APU mid flight, have more capable fire suppression systems etc. They are also higher maintained.

I would prefer an expert to comment on the elephant in the room.

Last edited by Rail Engineer; 9th Jan 2013 at 19:12.
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