Japan Airlines Halts 787 Flight After Battery Problem


Japan Airlines Co said it halted a scheduled 787 Dreamliner flight on Sunday after engineers detected a faulty pressure sensor in one of its newly reinforced lithium-ion batteries, replacing the aircraft with an older 767.

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The Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) jet is one of 50 Dreamliners that were grounded for more than three months after batteries, one on a parked Japan Airlines 787 in Boston and another aboard an ANA Holdings plane during flight in Japan, overheated.

Boeing won approval from regulators for a revamped battery system that encases the lithium-ion cells in a steel box packed with fire resistant insulation. The new self-contained power packs also feature an emergency duct to vent any gases resulting from overheating directly outside the aircraft.

The fault which affected the Tokyo-Beijing flight on Sunday was caused by tape that had been mistakenly left over the pressure sensor when Boeing engineers installed the new batteries, Japan Airlines said in a press release. No fault occurred in the battery, the airline said.

The incident, although minor, comes just after Japan Airlines and its local rival ANA, which together operate half of the world's 787s, returned the jet to service and may hamper efforts by them to allay travelers' concerns.