New battery problem grounds JAL Dreamliner

A new battery problem has grounded a Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Japan Airlines, one of the first companies to report a problem with the Dreamliner’s overheating battery pack back in January this year, has been forced to replace one of its recently reinstated aircraft due to another problem with the battery installation. This time the fault was with the pressure sensor that monitors the battery’s temperature, according to reports in the Japanese media. The battery pack has already undergone a number of modifications following the initial problem. According to Japanese broadcaster, Kyodo, citing JAL, the problem was due to faulty maintenance by Boeing, as two small ventilation holes in the battery’s container had been inadvertently sealed when the battery system was repaired.

Once the problem had been recognised, JAL immediately dropped the aircraft from its scheduled flight between Tokyo and Beijing, despite the fact that the oversight was not considered an immediate safety risk, and replaced it with a Boeing 767, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Boeing 787 Dreamliners have recently gone back into service worldwide following the manufacturer’s diagnosis of the overheating problem and the provision of a battery redesign to rectify it. Deliveries of the new aircraft to customers, which had also been delayed, have now resumed, with Thomson Airways becoming the first UK-based carrier to add a 787 to its fleet on Friday.

Thomson’s managing director, Chris Browne, said that no customer had registered concern about flying on the 787, adding, ‘Customers have been very understanding. They trust Thomson and Boeing not to put an unsafe aircraft in the air.’