Boeing 787 Circuits Burned on ANA Planes Last Year, Union Says
By Kiyotaka Matsuda & Chris Cooper - Mar 6, 2013 4:50 AM PT
All Nippon Airways Co. (9202), the biggest operator of Boeing Co. (BA) 787s, repaired three damaged circuit boards last year on Dreamliners, the aircraft that was grounded worldwide this year after lithium-ion batteries caught fire.
Of three circuit boards that burned, one that was damaged in April had to be replaced, Shozo Tsue, secretary general of the Japan Federation of Aviation Workers’ Unions, told reporters in Tokyo today. ANA fixed three circuit boards last year safely before flights, Megumi Tezuka, an ANA spokeswoman said by telephone.
Tsue said he doesn’t know whether there is a link between circuit-board damage and the battery fires and that he has sent a letter to the nation’s transport minister asking that “issues” uncovered in the 787 be reconsidered. Boeing’s Dreamliners have yet to fly commercially after the January grounding, the first time in 34 years an entire airplane model has been pulled from service.
“The circuit board case on April 7 was serious and caused damage to the surrounding area,” Tsue said.
Investigators have yet to say they’ve found the causes of a lithium-ion battery fire on a Japan Airlines Co.-operated Dreamliner in Boston in January and that for an emergency landing of an ANA 787 later that month.
Boeing last month submitted a proposed permanent solution for the battery problem to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to get the plane back in service. The plan will require extensive testing and approval before regulators end the plane’s grounding, the U.S.’s top aviation official said.
“We can’t say if there was any connection between the circuit boards and the battery, but there have been lots of problems with the electrical system,” Kazuo Harigai, assistant secretary of the Japanese aviation workers’ union, sa
No where does it say any of these circuit boards were related to battery charging or monitoring systems. Also it appears they found what sounds like trash in one of the breakers, have to question if some ones foil gum wrapper got down there into it? Without more details and investigation this could be a cleaning issue to a design issue at this point, so not too much to worry about for now.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's All Nippon Airways had three instances of electric distribution panel trouble in its Boeing (NYSE: BA - news) 787 Dreamliner before it grounded the aircraft in January and had to replace the panel twice, a spokesman said.
In the most serious case, which took place in April 2012, ANA found burns in the protection circuit and the breaker of an electric distribution panel during on-ground inspections after pilots received a generator-related bug message, ANA spokesman Etsuya Uchiyama said on Thursday.
The company believes a foreign material entered the panel and caused the short circuit. The material is likely to have scattered and damaged the breaker, and ANA replaced the damaged panel, he said.
"We believe this is not serious. Fire damage in electric distribution panels are also found in other types of aircraft, and it has no impact on safe operation of aircraft," he said.
ANA, which is Japan's largest airline and the biggest operator of 787s worldwide, reported the case to Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau, Uchiyama said.
The airline also replaced an electric distribution panel in June 2012 and exchanged parts in a panel in March 2012, he said. These two cases were not reported to the Civil Aviation Bureau.
On Wednesday, the Japan Federation of Aviation Workers' Unions said ANA experienced short circuits in its 787 electric distribution panel at least five times between December 2011 and October 2012, citing ANA mechanics.
Asked about the Federation's information, ANA's Uchiyama said the panel problems occurred three times, not five.
The federation, which groups unions representing aviation workers including mechanics, flight attendants and pilots, did not mention Japan Airlines , the second-largest 787 operator.
JAL could not be reached immediately for comment.
Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ANA operated 17 Dreamliners before the aircraft was grounded in mid-January after lithium-ion batteries burned on
Seems kind of fishy to see a report that does not specify what circuit boards were damaged. And why would the secretary general and asssistant secretary of the Japanese Aviation Union now be reportnig "issues" from last year? The timng seems odd. Hopefully someone will tell us which boards were effected.
doesn't say what system they were in, but must have been related to battery charging or they wouldn't have mentioned it. They are kind of late in the game to be mentioning it. Like they were hiding it for Boeing. But the did say the AP has lots of electrical problems.