NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB Update on JAL Boeing 787 Battery Fire Investigation

January 27

WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board today released a fifth update on its investigation into the Jan. 7 fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Logan International Airport in Boston. The fire occurred after the airplane had landed and no passengers or crew were onboard.

The event airplane, JA829J was delivered to JAL on December 20, 2012. At the time of the battery fire, the aircraft had logged 169 flight hours with 22 cycles. The auxiliary power unit battery was manufactured by GS Yuasa in September 2012.

NTSB investigators have continued disassembling the internal components of the APU battery in its Materials Laboratory in Washington, and disassembly of the last of eight cells has begun. Examinations of the cell elements with a scanning-electron microscope and energy-dispersive spectroscopy are ongoing.

A cursory comparative exam has been conducted on the undamaged main battery. No obvious anomalies were found. More detailed examination will be conducted as the main battery undergoes a thorough tear down and test sequence series of non-destructive examinations.

In addition to the activities at the NTSB lab, members of the investigative team continue working in Seattle and Japan and have completed work in Arizona. Their activities are detailed below.

ARIZONA

The airworthiness group completed testing of the APU start power unit at Securaplane in Tucson and the APU controller at UTC Aerospace Systems in Phoenix. Both units operated normally with no significant findings.

SEATTLE

Two additional NTSB investigators were sent to Seattle to take part in FAA's comprehensive review. One of the investigators will focus on testing efforts associated with Boeing's root cause corrective action efforts, which FAA is helping to lead. The other will take part in the FAA's ongoing review of the battery and battery system special conditions compliance documentation.

JAPAN

The NTSB-led team completed component examination of the JAL APU battery monitoring unit at Kanto Aircraft Instrument Company, Ltd., in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan. The team cleaned and examined both battery monitoring unit circuit boards, which were housed in the APU battery case. The circuit boards were damaged, which limited the information that could be obtained from tests, however the team found no significant discoveries.

Additional information on the NTSB's investigation of the Japan Airlines B-787 battery fire in Boston can be found at http://go.usa.gov/4K4J.

The NTSB will provide another factual update on Tuesday, Jan. 29, or earlier if developments warrant. To be alerted to any updates or developments, follow the NTSB on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ntsb.

NTSB Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
(202) 314-6100
Kelly Nantel
kelly.nantel@ntsb.gov
or Peter Knudson
peter.knudson@ntsb.gov

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.