Boeing787 Batteries & EU Aviation Incident Reporting
10/03/2013

New details about the fire aboard the B787 have been disclosed in a preliminary report from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that provides the most comprehensive picture so far of the battery fire in the 787 that was parked at an airport and burst into flame on Jan. 7.  The 48-page report, (supported by nearly 500 pages of technical documents (which were not included in the public document), gave a detailed chronology of the investigation, and graphic descriptions of what took place aboard the airplane. What it did not say, however, is what caused the fires in the battery cell in the first place. The NTSB report can be downloaded from http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2013/boeing_787/interim_report_B787_3-7-13.pdf  The report also gave more details about the steps Boeing took to test and certify the first large-scale use of lithium batteries aboard a commercial passenger jet. Some of those details raised questions about how Boeing could have misjudged the risks.

Two interesting New York Times articles on the NTSB report and on the danger that a longer range 787 might not be approved can be downloaded at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/business/safety-board-reports-little-progress-in-787-inquiry.html?pagewanted=all & at  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/09/business/setback-to-boeings-hopes-for-longer-range-for-787.html

In parallel we report on an EU initiative to improve the EU aviation incident reporting system and to ensure efficient use of the data collected with a view to preventing future accidents, thereby moving further towards a proactive, risk-based safety management system. This proposal (2012) and a more recent update can be downloaded at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/12/st18/st18118.en12.pdf  & at http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/13/st06/st06666.en13.pdf