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Squawks & HeadlinesBoeing 787 Dreamliner suffers new setback after ANA discovers wiring defects

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner suffers new setback after ANA discovers wiring defects

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner suffered a fresh setback after All Nippon Airways (ANA) said it discovered wiring defects in the fire-suppression system on three aircraft. The fault, first detected on a 787-8 due to depart Tokyo’s Haneda airport Aug. 14, would trigger the wrong extinguisher in the event of a blaze in one of the two engines, ANA said. Japan Airlines recalled a 787 flying to Helsinki from Tokyo as a precaution, and Boeing said it was investigating the flaw. (airguideonline.com) More...

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PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 9
Quality control, boys.

If you're going to fly by wire, you gotta get the wiring done right.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 5
They'll get it right sooner or later. Better sooner, so as not to ruin the reputation of a great plane - 787, and of their company in the process.

Boeing should be the most successful airline manufacturer over the next decade or two, solely on the back of the 787, and the technology it spins off to future 777 and 737 variants.

But they have to get this quality control thing right.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 5
It certainly doesn't speak highly of Boeing's quality assurance / acceptance testing if they overlook this problem and it gets discovered by a line technician at ANA. And clearly it isn't a one-time mistake since the same problem affected at least three of their aircraft.
yr2012
matt jensen 1
Boeing had better hire that tech - and quick
isardriver
isardriver 5
wow - unfortunately this always happens when companies rush out the new product after it is showcased. while boeing is extremely reputable, i can see where the $$ signs take over given the competition and the urge to get orders, etc. and its not just boeing, just my humble opinion, saw this many times before
joeffinger
joeffinger 0
"rushed out"? How many years late was it?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
The later you get (even if out of your control), the more the urge to rush. Just ask the captain on that Southwest 345 who drove nose first into the ground at LGA.
JJ7
JJ Johnson 2
It's not like Airbus and the A350 will not have in service flaws and issues discovered as the bird is broke in. Come on people this is a ground breaking
bird of course there will be issues. In the long run the Dreamliner will be the best aircraft in the sky when the bugs are ironed out. Give it some time how often have you been going down the interstate and see a brand new BMW or Lexus sitting on the side of the road dead still with a sticker on the window? It happens the world and technology is not perfect. Boeing has and still makes the best aircraft on Earth.
yr2012
matt jensen -3
Sorry JJ - but after having spent the majority of my life on the road, I can honestly say I have NEVER seen a single luxury foreign car sitting on the side of the road with a window sticker still on it. The Dreamliner is just that a dream. Boeing used to make the best, but now it's Airbus and Embraer.
eckstrombryan
Bryan Eckstrom 0
Im a huge Boeing fan , but it hurts me to agree with you matt. boeing is just not showing what they are really made of anymore . last saving grace would be the 777x
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 3
Each and every 787 built is a completely new chance to get it right. Boeing will have up to 10 new chances per month (by year's end) to get it right.

Whatever learning pains were experienced early on in the program to manufacture this new plane; from this point forward, they can get each and every one done absolutely right.

So there is no need for the unnecessarily overdramatic response to every little thing that pops up in the earliest produced examples of the plane.
fltnsplr
Richard Tibbitts 0
You don't happen to work for Boeing's PR department, do you?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
No, but I want 787 to be successful. And I hope the A350 is a good plane too.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I find it strange that all of the production didn't suffer from the same malady. Of all 73 aircraft only a few were miswired? ANA put the 787 back in service over a month ago yet only found the wiring error yesterday or the day before in a pre-flight maintenance procedure. What's the different in the current pre-flight and the inspection used previously? I've read three different articles about this and all of them generate more questions than they answer.
bboaze
Bruce Boaze 1
Wouldn't a fire suppressor be a network addressable device, and therefore the problem be an incorrect network address which might happen during an engine swap for instance?
wallypiper
Wally Piper 1
I hear all the "teething problems" excuses but this is really shoddy design, shoddy manufacturing procedures, and/or shoddy QC. I deal with lots of equipment that carries virtually no life safety risks at all. It is pretty common practice to make things like wiring connections idiotproof. Sensor 1 has a four prong connector, sensor 2 has a 6 prong connector (even though they are only two wire sensors). That sort of thing. I realize that there are probably 10s of thousands of wiring terminations on a 787 and only so many ways to key them. But beyond that, wouldn't you expect that there is a routine function check for something like this as part of quality control? Again, much lower risk equipment I deal with gets checked thoroughly - input 101 turns on, output 201 must turn on and activate device 301. The rule is if it's possible to connect it wrong, then you check to verify that it is connected right. Period. And that's for machines that just make plastic doodads. Factory engineering teams show up with long checklists and do what is called, in my industry, I/O checks, verifying that every input is properly connected to the right device and every output is properly connected to the right device and that triggering the input generates the right response at the output device. It's a routine part of commissioning an automated machine. I do it, too. It is time consuming and expensive and, in many smaller pieces of equipment that don't get any field connections, frequently automated.

Sorry. I'd like to love Boeing but this is just very sloppy. If an assembly step carries the risk of failure due to human error, you put steps in place to make sure no errors have occurred.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Entirely possible.

The problem was reported as a wiring issue, which that would not be. But who knows what the real underlying issue might be.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
The article reported that a wiring or mis-wiring problem was discovered during pre-flight. maintenance. But no matter when it was discovered a wiring anomaly was found in 3 ANA pieces not a software glitch.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I'm not familiar with the bottle design, so I'm open to the neywork configuration being hard-wired on the actual device, and not changeable remotely. Once installed in an particular location, there would be no need to change its' network ID, so a hardware settable ID configuration could be useful. But as I said, I'm not familiar with their design, but originally assumed that a particular wire from a particular switch controlled a particular bottle on a particular engine. But it could be networked as well.
toonvanderweijst
Wiring issues will always occur on brand new developed machines as complicated as an airliner. A light switch wrongly connected? No fuzz, small repair, should have been detected by quality control at the manufacturer, but hey, its a job done by people and people do make mistakes.
Now, for a pilot, the biggest hazard on board during a flight is fire. Can you imagine getting an actual engine fire on the starboard engine, following the checklist to shutdown and secure that engine........and then finding out that all of a sudden you find yourself on an aircraft that has its port engine choked by the fire bottles (can't restart it) and its starboard engine still on fire???????
Yes, mistakes are made, we all do, but this one would have had catastrophic results if it wasn't discovered.......and that discovery should have taken place in Seattle!!! This is why in aviation we check and double or triple check. There are checklists, also at quality control. Not checked and confirmed = not ready to proceed......no matter what pressure from the management!
I'm a huge fan of Boeing and would choose them over Airbus anytime, still this is very unacceptable.
awinn
Alan Winn 1
great comments... it is sad to see this happen, Boeing has been one of the best companies in the world.. they have to be careful and not repeat the mistakes of McDonnell-Douglas.. Airbus is just sitting and waiting for mistakes to show up and lower the reputation!
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 0
I can't help but think this smells of sabotage. In case of uncontained engine failure/fire, this wiring change would ensure the plane would come down.

(or manufacturing incompetence). Either way, there's no place for such small but potentially very fatal mistakes.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
Some postulate that it checked and double checked and delivered correctly, but that it may have been accidentally rewired (a new plane) at a later time during a check, which seems more plausible, but still unacceptable (even if done by the mechanics by mistake??).
yr2012
matt jensen -6
At least Airbus devotes a couple of years to making theirs airworthy. Can't say that about the new wetdream.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 0
From all I've read, I disagree.
rexstevens
Rex Stevens 0
This airplane is a digital colossus. The carbon fiber structures are not so worrisome. Boeing has mostly eliminated hydraulics for control surfaces to save weight. It's just about all electrical now and dependent entirely on the integrity of software systems. Software cowboys will tell you that it is virtually impossible to track down many glitches. Finding some is a matter more of statistical probability than chasing down a wire or connector. Mostly it's luck. So? Thinking that there must be someone to blame, an incompetent mechanic, a conspirator, an Airbus saboteur, is a leap into the abyss. What if it's a series of intermittent problems no one of which can be traced. There are "ghosts" in these machines and most likely the problems will, like many bizarre medical symptoms caused by hidden lesions or strange viruses, either surface or disappear. Airbus A-350's, as the A-380 will have the same sort of malfunctions most of which cannot be predicted. So, my hope is that a bunch of these issues will "pack down." Of course, new ones will surface.
khushdeep3758
KHUSHDEEP GUPTA 0
Boeing is reputed company. They should look into this matter seriously. after all it is a tough business competition, and to survive these small problems should be looked into seriously.
alvinpo
Alvin Polanco 0
That Is a good new for 787-8
Finally the problem will be repair
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Whatever the root of the problems (carelessness, engineering, haste, sabotage) they need to get it together SOON.
skyfly12
shawn white 2
Obviously I don't have any evidence and some people might wish to kill me after this post, But I seriously have started to wonder about sabotage! Batteries (that I believe were thoroughly tested) blowing up, emergency beacons that are used around the world only catch on fire in the 787, and wiring problems like this? Common! Mistakenly switching the wires would not go unnoticed on something as huge as the 787... Another much more likely cause is the maintenance crews are unfamiliar with the new plane and its systems and wiring... Maybe they switched an engine and didn't attach the wires right, but to avoid a PR fiasco, they take the opportunity to blame it on Boeing and demand compensation!
I do hope that Boeing fixes everything, but I am suspicious...
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 0
I posted this earlier. If some aircraft are affected why not all. As you said, is there a problem with an installer or a problem with an attitude?
honzanl
honza nl -1
of course, blame the others, that will solve the problems....
why is it likely Japanese technicians made mistakes ?? they have a better reputation than US ones, where dollar and profits are king and safety just is costing money....
remember the AA DC10 with the falling off engine? were engineers who caused it by circumnavigating schedules....US engineers to be precisely
you believe too much marketing on this NightmareLiner
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 0
Who said anything on Japanese technicians????A lot of people touch those airplanes and it may even be a missed factory screw up. Maybe one factory installer or electrician misunderstood the schematics. You're awfully defensive. Why not just scream that I'm a racist, it makes about as much sense. THIMK!
honzanl
honza nl -1
reading is not your best talent ?
shawn is talking about maintenance crews and switching engines; well, at new planes from Japanese airlines that is done by Japanese technicians....so if he gives that more credit as a cause than simple Boeing failure than he is blaming Japanese technicians
I'm not awfully defensive, shawn is awfully offensive, that's the problem...
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I have read 3 different articles about this discovery and only 3 aircraft were from ANA. You can read anything you like into my comments and take offense if that pleases you, but your comments are more an indictment toward Japanese technicians than mine ever were. Maybe sensitivity training is your solution.
geofflw
geoff waldron 0
You forgot the press
SootBox
SootBox -2
Boeing, Boeing... GONE.