January 17, 2013 Update on the 787 Grounding
Yesterday the FAA grounded all US registered 787s pending inspection of the battery system that has failed twice in Japan. Between last night’s post and today, the FAA released the full directive, FAA 787 AD. This AD does not govern non-US aircraft but the EU this morning has followed suit and also grounded the 787 and banned them from flying in EU airspace. That leaves I think Air India, Qatar, LAN, and Ethiopian Airlines as the only airlines able to operate the 787 at this time.
What is concerning to me is that there is no timeline on when the inspections and the potential changes should be completed. What is important to note, is that the part that failed is not manufactured by Boeing but by a sub-contractor. http://www.gsyuasa-lp.com/aviation-lithium-batteries. This company produces batteries for a variety of sources including Honda Hybrid cars. So it isn’t as if this is unproven technology, Lithium-ion batteries have been in use since the late 90’s and most laptops, cell-phones, and other portable electronics use them.
My point is, if you are worried about these batteries better throw away any portable electronic you have. Whatever the error is I am sure it will get sorted out quickly.