At this very frustrating stage of the 787 Dreamliner grounding every new clue will get jumped on, and this morning it is news that there were ‘bumps’ or deformations apparent in the second and rear located heavy duty lithium-ion battery in the ANA flight that made an emergency landing in Japan in January after the first forward located battery under the cockpit malfunctioned.
This report plays a straight bat in Aviation Week.
This second battery is in the same location as the one that burned for at least 99 minutes on the ground at Boston Airport in a JAL 787 after it had arrived from Tokyo.
The temptation will be for observers to think that if both batteries in the ANA jet were affected on the same flight, one catastrophically and the other so subtly that it has only just been noticed, there may be a common initiator or other factor at play in the overall electrical system.
This is not a happy speculation, and it may well be wrong, like so many that have already been raised. The positive side of the situation is that it could be a strong clue as to the full cause of the incident being understood, and thus solved. There has to be some good news in this even if the immediate implications are unwelcome.
A reporter since November 30, 1960, Ben Sandilands looks at what really matters up in the sky: public administration of air transport and its safety, the accountability of the carriers, and space for everyone’s knees.
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