NTSB sends team to investigate ANA 787 battery incident

Washington DC
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The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will send an investigator to join the Japanese probe of the apparent battery problem that forced an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 to make an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport.

The NTSB investigator will be part of a US delegation, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing, who will be arriving in Japan on 18 January.

The Japan Transport Safety Board will lead the investigation of the incident, which appears to be the second safety issue involving the 787's lithium-ion batteries to arise in less than 10 days.

The NTSB says cites initial reports indicating smoke was detected in the cockpit of the ANA 787, along with an odor in the passenger cabin. The crew also had received multiple messages about the battery and other affected systems, the NTSB says.

The incident adds to growing safety concerns about the 787's overall electrical system and the lithium ion batteries, in particular.

On 7 January, a different lithium battery exploded on a Japan Airlines 787 while parked at Boston Logan International airport, causing a small fire in the battery compartment.

That incident prompted another, ongoing investigation by the NTSB, and a separate review of the 787 programme by the FAA and Boeing.

ANA and JAL have temporarily grounded 787s to conduct maintenance checks as a result of the most recent incident, but other carriers, including United Airlines and Poland's LOT, continue to operate scheduled flights.