US investigators go to Japan to take part in 787 probe

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Associated Press

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 16 at 11:30 AM

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. government is sending aviation investigators to Japan -- and so is Boeing -- to work with Japan's government on the investigation of problems on some of Boeing's new 787 aircraft.

Japan's two biggest carriers, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, today grounded all of their 787s for safety checks, after one was forced to make an emergency landing.

ANA said a cockpit message showed battery problems, and a burning smell was detected in the cockpit and the cabin. The 787, on a domestic flight, landed in western Japan. The airline says an inspection found leaking electrolyte and burn marks around the main battery, in an electrical room below the cockpit.

Japan's transport ministry says it was a "serious incident" that could have led to an accident.

The grounding in Japan was the first for the 787, whose problems had been brushed off by Boeing as just part of the teething pains for a new aircraft. The transport ministry had already started a separate investigation of another 787 that had leaked fuel in Tokyo after flying back from Boston, where it had also leaked fuel.

A fire ignited in a battery pack on another Japan Airlines 787 as the plane sat on the tarmac in Boston last week.

%@AP Links

049-v-31-(Ross Simpson, AP correspondent)--Japan's transport ministry says Boeing 787s are being grounded for safety checks after what it calls a serious incident with a Dreamliner. AP correspondent Ross Simpson reports. (16 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *049 (01/16/13)>> 00:31

290-v-31-(Ross Simpson, AP correspondent)--Japan's transport ministry says Boeing 787s are being grounded for safety checks after what it calls a serious incident with a Dreamliner. AP correspondent Ross Simpson reports. (15 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *290 (01/15/13)>> 00:31

GRAPHICSBANK: An All Nippon Airways flight sits at Takamatsu airport in Takamatsu after an emergency landing, on texture, with lettering, EMERGENCY LANDING, finished graphic (16 Jan 2013)

APPHOTO TOK813: In this photo taken by a passenger and distributed by Japan's Kyodo News, passengers leave an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 after it made an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. ANA said a cockpit message showed battery problems and a burning smell was detected in the cockpit and the cabin, forcing the 787 on a domestic flight to land at the airport. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE (16 Jan 2013)

<<APPHOTO TOK813 (01/16/13)>>

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