News / Asia

US Orders All Boeing 787s Grounded

Passengers walk away from ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane after it made an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport, western Japan, Jan. 16, 2013.
Passengers walk away from ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane after it made an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport, western Japan, Jan. 16, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The U. S. Federal Aviation Administration has ordered all U.S.-registered Boeing 787 passenger jets to stop flying until the risk of possible fires caused by lithium batteries aboard the craft can be evaluated.
 
The FAA said it will work with Boeing and United Airlines - the only American carrier that currently operates 787s - to get the wide-bodied, twin-engine jets back in service as quickly and safely as possible.
 
Boeing's Dreamliner 787 Problems

  • Jan. 16: ANA flight makes emergency landing after a battery problem
  • Jan. 13: JAL 787 suffers fuel spill
  • Jan. 11: ANA 787 grounded after a windshield crack is discovered; another ANA 787 delayed for oil leak
  • Jan. 9: ANA cancels 787 flight because of brake issue
  • Jan. 8: JAL 787 grounded in Boston after a fuel spill
  • Jan. 7: Fire breaks out on an empty JAL 787


 
The government's aviation watchdog said in a statement that all 787 operators must demonstrate to the FAA that planes' lithium batteries are safe before flights can resume.
 
Hours earlier, Japan's two biggest airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, grounded all their Dreamliners - 24 aircraft - after one of the new jets made an emergency landing in Japan, after a cockpit warning light signaled a battery problem and passengers reported a burning smell in the cabin. No serious injuries were reported as passengers and crew scrambled down escape chutes after the jet touched down.

Even before Wednesday's developments, recent problems with the 787 had prompted U.S. regulators to launch a safety review of the aircraft. A battery problem was believed to be the cause of a small fire that broke out aboard an empty 787 as it was being serviced on the ground in Boston; other incidents have involved leaking fuel, a cracked windshield and brake problems.
 
Boeing had no immediate comment on the FAA action, but the company's stock price fell 2 percent in trading after U.S. markets formally closed.
 
U.S.-based Boeing has sold or has commitments to build more than 800 of the planes for airlines around the world. Boeing says the 787's revolutionary design will save air carrers money by using less fuel.

  • ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner made an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in Japan, January 16, 2013. Smoke appeared in the plane's cockpit, but all 137 passengers and crew members were evacuated safely.
  • ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner after making an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in western Japan January 16, 2013.
  • A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet surrounded by emergency vehicles at Logan International Airport in Boston, January 7, 2013. A small electrical fire filled the cabin of the JAL aircraft with smoke.
  • A Boeing 787 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, October 1, 2012, during an official welcome ceremony after it landed on the first day of service for the aircraft on ANA's Seattle-Tokyo route.
  • The first scheduled Boeing 787 airplane to depart from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, takes off October 2, 2012 in Seattle.
  • A Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off from from Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas, April 11, 2012.
  • Passengers of a Boeing 787 are welcomed by lion dance to celebrate the airplane's inaugural commercial flight from Japan, at Hong Kong International Airport, October 26, 2011.
  • The Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, carrying the first major assembly for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Everett, Washington, after the plane's arrival from Italy, April 24, 2007.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: kafantaris from: USA, Ohio
January 17, 2013 2:00 PM
Boeing makes solid planes and has been doing so for decades. Yet despite their wide use, large lithium batteries still lag in safety.
Ironically a safer route for Boeing would have been to use hydrogen batteries. Not only would hydrogen have given the 787 safer, lighter, and longer lasting batteries (weeks on end), but they could have been recharged in minutes every time the plane refueled.
In any event, we should intelligently work through the 787’s battery problem. Either we better isolate the present lithium batteries or we replace them altogether. And as soon as we are done, the planes should get back on the air because they are otherwise sound -- and safe.


by: Maria from: Washington DC
January 17, 2013 11:07 AM
My Ethiopian flight from Lusaka to Addis Ababa was grounded for a night because "the hydraulic pump broke". Thankfully we were on the ground.. but these 787s are not ready for the world. Boeing needs to stop testing these planes on passengers... these arent growing pains either as one Boeing employee said. Let's have that person on a plane that has known issues.. and see how he feels then! urgh

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid