Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-14-117
Details
Synopsis: On January 7, 2013, about 1021 eastern standard time, smoke was discovered by cleaning personnel in the aft cabin of a Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787-8, JA829J, which was parked at a gate at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (BOS), Boston, Massachusetts. About the same time, a maintenance manager in the cockpit observed that the auxiliary power unit (APU) had automatically shut down. Shortly afterward, a mechanic opened the aft electronic equipment bay and found heavy smoke coming from the lid of the APU battery case and a fire with two distinct flames at the electrical connector on the front of the case. None of the 183 passengers and 11 crewmembers were aboard the airplane at the time, and none of the maintenance or cleaning personnel aboard the airplane was injured. Aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel responded, and one firefighter received minor injuries. The airplane had arrived from Narita International Airport, Narita, Japan, as a regularly scheduled passenger flight operated as JAL flight 008 and conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 129.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Work with lithium-ion industry experts to (1) conduct research into battery monitoring system technologies that could improve the recognition of conditions leading to thermal runaway, (2) develop active mitigation of such conditions to minimize damage, and (3) update design and safety standards accordingly.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Boston, MA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA13IA037
Accident Reports: ​Auxiliary Power Unit Battery Fire Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8, JA829J
Report #: AIR-14-01
Accident Date: 1/7/2013
Issue Date: 12/1/2014
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/15/2018
Response: We note that the research programs at your William J. Highes Technical Center and other locations continue to address these recommendations, and that you anticipate these projects will be completed by June 2019. Pending completion of these research programs, Safety Recommendations A-14-117 and -118 remain classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/20/2018
Response: -From Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator: The FAA agrees that research into lithium-ion battery charging and monitoring system technologies is needed in order to detect and prevent lithium-ion battery failures before thermal runaway conditions occur and protect the aircraft if the failures cannot be prevented. We continue to sponsor research projects utilizing the FAA 's William J. Hughes Technical Center and other facilities in the study of lithium-ion battery charging and monitoring technologies. These research projects are scheduled for completion by June 2019. The FAA is dedicated in promoting improved design solutions that include thermal and dendrite proofing, early electrical short detection. and multifunctional electrolyte separators in order to: • Enhance electrochemical performance of the lithium battery; • Stop thermal runaway; and • Achieve. with advanced diagnostic arrangements, early detection of electrical shorting of a battery cell. Depending upon the results of this research, new test methods may be used to establish additional margins of thermal safety for future lithium-ion battery designs. The findings produced from these research projects will also be used to update associated certification guidance documents. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on these recommendations and anticipate providing an update by August 2019.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 9/28/2016
Response: We note that you are continuing research programs addressing these recommendations at your William J. Hughes Technical Center, and that you anticipate these projects being completed within the next 3 years. Pending completion of theses research programs, Safety Recommendations A-14-117 and -118 remain classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/6/2016
Response: -Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The FAA is continuing to work with industry experts and other candidates that have the capacity to address these recommendations through research projects that will span the next 3 years and use the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center and other facilities. The findings produced from these projects will be used to update associated certification guidance documents for applicants.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/16/2015
Response: We note that you are working with the RTCA’s Special Committee 225 to develop improved specifications, design standards, and testing methods for lithium-ion batteries and battery systems, and that this work is supported by an exisiting research program at your William J. Hughes Technical Center. Pending completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations A-14-114 through -118 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/24/2015
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The FAA continues to work with the RTCA's Special Committee 225 (SC-225) industry experts to develop improved specifications, design standards, and testing methods for lithium-ion batteries and battery systems. Our work with SC-225 is supported by research ongoing at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center and will consider these recommendations.