Smoke Reported From Main Battery of Japan Airlines Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” Aircraft

A problem with a lithium ion battery was reported earlier today involving a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft operated by Japan Airlines, similar to the one pictured above. Photograph by By Sergey Kustov via Wikimedia Commons. Click on the image above to access the original source of the photograph.

A maintenance crew at Narita Airport reportedly discovered white smoke and an unidentified liquid emanating from the main battery of a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft — supposedly two hours before it was to depart from Tokyo to Bangkok with 158 passengers, according to an official representative of Japan Airlines, which operates the aircraft.

Almost one year ago today, an emergency worthiness directive was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States and the civil aviation authorities of the Japanese, Chilean and other governments worldwide to ground of Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft, which lasted for greater than three months — as well as the investigations which have been ordered as a result of a spate of mechanical and technical issues which have plagued the aircraft since its debut.

One of those mechanical issues specifically mentioned was a lithium ion battery which overheated in Japan. Could that be considered a coincidence — or is the incident which occurred earlier today related to that of a year ago?

After the grounding was finally lifted in April of 2013, two additional incidents occurred involving Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft in July of 2013: one which a fire was reported in the interior of a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines, forcing the temporary closing of Heathrow Airport near London; and the other in which a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft operated by Thompson Airlines as flight 126 traveling from England to the United States had reportedly returned to Manchester Airport as the result of a technical issue during its flight.

Although alarms in the cockpit allegedly indicated faults with the battery power pack and its charger, the cause of this particular incident is not known at this time — nor is it known as to whether this is simply an isolated case or an indication of a larger issue. No other equipment was affected by this incident, which is currently under investigation by Japan Airlines and The Boeing Company, the manufacturer of the aircraft.

Meanwhile, the aircraft has been temporarily grounded by Japan Airlines.

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