Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered the U.S. fleet of Boeing 787 planes to be grounded, citing an incident in Japan earlier today in which one of the jet's batteries emitted smoke. The Japanese report came a week after a similar incident occurred in Boston.
The FAA says that its safety directive will also likely be followed in other countries, as well.
The only U.S. carrier that currently uses the 787 is United Airlines, which the FAA says has six planes in service. The planes were grounded in Japan after an All Nippon Airways flight made an emergency landing Tuesday.
The agency said Wednesday afternoon that it has issued "an emergency airworthiness directive", to look into "a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations."
The FAA says it will work with Boeing and airlines to get the planes back in the air, as NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on today's All Things Considered.
The second incident in Japan involved a lithium ion battery. The FAA said, "The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes."
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