Li-ion Battery Devices Can Ignite, If Crushed in a Seat

(click on image to read the report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB))

(click on image to read the report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB))

The concerns about Li-ion battery ignition hazards grounded the Boeing 787 fleet in 2013, and they continue to make the news. The picture above is from a new investigative report about an actual fire on a Qantas 747. A passenger misplaced an electronic device and it became crushed inside the seat mechanism, creating a hissing sound and igniting. When crewmembers arrived, they “…observed an orange glow emanating from the seat….”

The concerns are not new. The Australian report cites a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) issued by FAA in June 2009. Archived copies are linked below.


See also:
  • 9/23/2009 – archived copy of SAFO 09013 (1p)
  • 9/23/2009 – archived copy of Supplement to SAFO 09013 (2p)

New Investigative Report on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Li-ion Battery Fires

20130117.. Burnt Li-ion Battery B787

An NTSB picture of a charred Li-ion battery, January 2013.

In early 2013, FAA was forced to ground the entire U.S. Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, after two serious incidents in which Li-ion batteries had caught fire. Many aviation safety professionals were very impressed with the transparency and safety advocacy subsequently shown by NTSB and NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman. At the same time, much of FAA’s response smacked of being a loyal waterboy for damage control efforts by Boeing and other corporations in the aviation world.

20140910.. Li-ion Battery becomes a torch

The battery design is extremely volatile. When shot during testing, it quickly became a veritable blow-torch.

FAA’s grounding of the Dreamliner went on for more than three months, and ended on 4/27/2013. In the months since, a few minor incidents have made the news, but more notably there has been a concerted effort by Boeing marketers (with assistance from FAA) to both re-shine the Dreamliner’s image AND micromanage the coverage of all incidents. Eventually, Ms. Hersman resigned her NTSB post and moved on, and Boeing stock has made more than a complete recovery. So, we wait and we hope.

If we are lucky, and if the re-configured marketing efforts were not just hype, we will not see a repeat battery fire or other problem. We will not dread the news when a  Dreamliner filled with passengers has a major failure, out over an ocean and two hours from land.

We hope.

A detailed 48-minute investigative report has been posted on YouTube. Will Jordan and an Al Jazeera team of reporters spent more than a year investigating. They talked with Whistleblowers, management, outsource ‘partners’, union officials, workers, and former DoT Inspector General Mary Schiavo, but they did not talk to any FAA officials. Clay Foushee (AAE-1), as head of the office that is supposed to protect aviation Whistleblowers, would have been an extremely appropriate interview … and his name appears on a memo at around 37-minutes. But, no FAA interviews or, if they did, perhaps the answers were empty and got edited out?

Here are a few quotes and time-marks from this excellent analysis of an FAA/Boeing work culture that appears to have drifted sharply, from safety to earnings reports.

4:50 “We have a contract with Boeing, so we can’t tell any comments to you.”
7:25 “After my building burned down, after that they realized, very emphatically, the danger of this chemistry.”
9:40 “When it comes to building airplanes, the FAA delegates oversight almost completely to the aircraft manufacturers .”
10:35 “I don’t think it’s a sufficient fix. Even inside that steel box, with all of its fortification, all the elements are still there for fire.”
13:50 “…it was almost as if, at times you thought Boeing executives believed, well maybe they could sit in Chicago and have other companies do things, and they would just rake in the money somehow by putting it all together and putting a Boeing sticker on it at the end.”
16:46 “More than any other single event, it was the big lie, and it was a statement that the Boeing Company is now all about the big lie.”
21:10 “They changed basic engineering principles to meet schedule. We all protested.”
24:15 “It’s been eating me alive to know what I know, and to have no avenue, no venue to say anything.”
32:00 The John Woods Whistleblower story (5-minutes)
35:20 “…He turned to the FAA, filing a Whistleblower complaint. The document alleged seven serious violations in the South Carolina plant.” Former DoT-IG Schiavo: “I’ve gotten to the page where they reach their conclusions and the discussion and what they found was that all the allegations, all but one of them they could not substantiate, and the one that they could substantiate, they asked Boeing to fix it, Boeing said ‘OK, we fixed it’, and then they close the investigation. And that’s pretty much how they all go, I mean I’ve seen this so many times.”
37:00 “…It shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing.”
38:30 “One day you’re regulating the airline, and the next day you’re working for it. You can’t possibly be tough on the industry that you’re regulating, because you’ll never get that plum job after you leave. The regulators at the FAA will rarely cross Boeing.. They simply won’t.”
42:30 Interview with a Boeing VP (and GM of the 787 Program) (2-minutes in, the interview was stopped by Boeing’s Communications Director, and he asked that the cameras be turned off)

Here are links to the aiReform.com Posts related to this issue:

see also:

 

Boeing 787: more damaged transponder wires found

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has had a series of serious problems related to electrical systems. The fleet was grounded for months earlier this year, after the Li-Ion battery fires in Boston and in Japan. Then, just seven weeks after resuming flights, a fire on July 12th seriously damaged a parked Ethiopian Airlines B787, and shut down London’s Heathrow Airport. That made the news, of course, and Boeing stock fell 7% before recovering.

Emergency crew surrounds a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, operated by Ethiopian Airlines, which caught fire at Britain’s Heathrow airport in this July 12, 2013 still image taken from video.

The latest fire location was far from the batteries, but in the immediate proximity to where the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) beacon is installed on the B787. In the week that followed the Heathrow fire, blame was being tipped away from the B787 (and Boeing) and toward Honeywell, manufacturer of the ELT unit.

Now, two weeks after the Heathrow fire, British investigators are focusing on two leading theories: (1) that the ELT was installed with possible pinched wires, which might initiate a short circuit; and (2) that the higher humidity levels within the plastic B787 fuselage may be increasing the probability that irregularities such as pinched wires will evolve into full-blown electrical problems, even fires.

The fire damage was just over the rear door.

The largest fleet of B787’s is operated by Japan’s ANA Holdings, Inc (All Nippon). ANA removed the ELT units from its eight domestic-route 787’s and inspected the ELT units in its twelve international-route 787’s. In the process, ANA found two units with slightly damaged wires, and shipped these units to Honeywell for further inspection.

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Some links to related articles:

  • 7-26-2013Airline says it found faulty beacon wiring in Boeing 787
    …ANA found two ELT’s with slightly damaged wires. This article also has links to a good timeline on B787 problems.
  • 7-26-2013A timeline of troubles: Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner
    …The timeline spans from 10/26/11 (when the first commercial passenger flight was made by ANA) to 7/19/13 (when FAA announced it would soon order inspection of all ELT’s due to the Heathrow fire).
  • 7-15-2013A Question About My Old Car and The 787
    …A simple and reasonable analysis of how extreme conditions reveal weaknesses in old cars. Andrew Boydston asks: “Is the strong electric systems and new technology making the 787 an old airplane fast?”
  • Winging It (blog)A link to the blog
    …Andrew Boydston’s blog. There is a lot of interesting data and analysis on the airlines, the Boeing 787, and other topics.

UPDATE: 7-27-2013 — FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive requiring inspection.

Pee-testing for Boeing Management…?

…and a new Stainless Steel Sarcophagus.

Sometimes, when a problem develops such as a burning Li-Ion battery on the Boeing 787, months are spent engineering a solution. Why not just seal the problem inside a box? The picture on the left gives a sense of the size of the blue-boxed original battery; on the left is the new 150-pound stainless steel sarcophagus version.

Play video: 787 Battery Tests
Has this solution been tried before…

…where other technologies have failed? YES!!

It was used to contain escaping radiation after the Chernobyl reactor melted down in April 1986. Many of those responding to the emergency were irradiated (and died) in the struggle to build a massive concrete and steel sarcophagus. In truth, that shell leaks, and is rapidly disintegrating, so a new sarcophagus is being constructed nearby, and will eventually be slid into place to protect the first sarcophagus (the radiation over  the reactor was too intense and dangerous to construct in-place).

cher_photocher_image
There is a clear difference of scale…

…between the 1986 technology failure at Chernobyl and the 2012 failures on board the Boeing 787. But, Boeing’s fix does beg the question: why not just revert to NiCad battery technologies, with a safer record? After all, by adding the expensive sarcophagus, there is no longer any weight-savings. One commentor to the Seattle Times article nailed it with this:

“…i just want to get the facts clear.

based on the current decision, the management of boeing should be pee tested for drugs on a daily basis. because only someone smoking dope would make such an illogical decision.

the correct decision, since both battery options weigh the same now, would have been to use ni-cad batteries….”

Dear Administrator Huerta…

…can you PLEASE bring real transparency to FAA’s business, so WE THE PEOPLE, can know what your employees are doing for OUR safety?

Copied below is a recent article, posted 2-5-13 at the very reputable news source, AviationWeek.com. The text has been modified by aiREFORM.com. Text not relevant to the issue of FAA transparency has been dimmed; text showing the inappropriate habit of FAA to excessively conceal information is in bold red.

Mr. Huerta, this is a clear no-brainer. The agency you lead needs to serve the public’s need for factual and timely information. President Obama articulated this quite well in his 1/21/09 Memorandum on Transparency & Open Government. NTSB Chair Hersman has done an excellent job communicating the Boeing 787 battery fires issue to the public, complete with photographs. Yet, FAA continues to try to keep the public in the dark. It again appears, as it did during the 4-3-08 congressional hearings about the Southwest 737 maintenance issues (and decades of other failures and scandals), that FAA is primarily serving its own ‘perceived customer’, the airlines and the aviation industry, while going against the objective of promoting aviation safety. I trust you agree, this is an FAA failure that you need to immediately correct. Here’s the article:

…a post at AviationWeek.com, February 5, 2013…

 

Japan’s Transport Safety Board (JTSB) has confirmed that Boeing is preparing to resume limited flight tests of the 787 as part of initial efforts to characterize the operating environment of the battery during typical flight cycles.

Boeing, which declines to confirm reports in the Seattle Times that it has requested permission from the FAA to conduct the data-gathering flights, is known to be evaluating several potential modifications to the battery system as part of urgent attempts to restore the 787 to service. The aircraft has been grounded since mid-January following two separate battery failures on aircraft in the U.S. and Japan earlier last month.

The FAA tells Aviation Week, “We are evaluating the request,” but declines to comment further.

The JTSB meanwhile is providing new details about the extent of the damage sustained by the main battery, which failed on the All Nippon Airways 787 on Jan. 16. The agency says its investigation has found evidence of the same type of thermal runaway event that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board says occurred on the Japan Airlines 787 APU battery at Boston Logan International Airport on Jan. 7. CT scans and other analysis conducted by the JTSB found damage to all eight cells in the battery as well as indications of short-circuiting and thermal runaway–a condition in which the failure of a single cell rapidly leads to overheating and a spillover to the surrounding cells.

According to the Seattle Times, the initial flight tests will focus on measuring the impact of temperature and vibrations on the battery as experienced during typical flight cycles. As revealed earlier in Aviation Week, the report also indicates Boeing is evaluating potential means of beefing up the battery containment and venting system.

 

It is an embarrassment to both our country and our vaunted democratic process, that we have to go to Japan to find out what Boeing and FAA are up to here, in our own country. The effect is that Japan is needed to blow the whistle on us! Can you please fix this???

This concerned citizen simply asks: will you please bring your agency into this new age of full internet-driven transparency, in conformance with the White House’s 12-8-09 Open Government Directive? Get your 45,000+ permanent employees to quit hiding everything! Let us know all the facts, un-spun by FAA/industry marketing agendas, so that we may each become fully and meaningfully empowered to participate in this democracy.

Jeff Lewis
former FAA ATCS and Whistleblower

Like Mold in an Onion…

Sometimes when you peel away the layers of an onion, you find a problem deep inside. What have we observed, as we peel away the layers of the Boeing 787 battery fire issue, and get to the facts?

Well, at first we heard the stories on the news: whispers of ‘maybe’ a problem, and pictures of big new airplanes boldly identified with ‘787’ paintjobs. [marketing success #1]

Then, we saw Huerta and LaHood heeling behind the podium, doing their part in what might feel like a confidence game. [marketing success #2]

Then, we experienced the rapid progression of news showing smoke, an emergency landing, a Japanese grounding, an FAA about-face grounding (which rendered those recent FAA podium appearances a bit hollow and ‘salesy’). [marketing efforts are starting to derail]

Then, NTSB clarified matters by sharing the burnt battery photo and making it clear: fires should not happen on airplanes, especially commercial airliners. [scrap marketing efforts; commence damage control mode]

Things muddled along and the news buzz began to fade. Then, we saw a pulse of news articles stating Japanese aviation authorities relaxed rules in 2008. To some, this looked like step one in trying to pin a problem on a peripheral player. The subtext was, gee, maybe this would not have happened if the Japanese authorities had been as diligent as FAA authorities. [step one in the coverup]

And now, as of yesterday, we learned that All Nippon had experienced many other battery problems and Boeing was aware of these issues. That, it appears, details of this safety/trouble history may not have been shared with NTSB and other safety officials as early as they should have been, during the past two weeks. Add to that whispers that FAA had relaxed 787 rules a year BEFORE the Japanese authorities.

All in all, it is beginning to unpeel the way the Lance Armstrong doping case unpeeled; very slowly, and in a way that makes the initial issue of far lesser import than the subsequent (and evidently intentional?) coverup.

 

For the record, this writer was a Boeing kid. I grew up in Seattle, and I still recall the thrill in the mid-1960’s, as a seven-year-old lining up with all the other kids at the Seattle Center Christmas event to be handed a huge plastic candy-cane filled with candy. Boeing sponsored this event for the tens of thousands of children in the families of Boeing employees. At that time (and decades before the move to Chicago) Boeing was the heart and soul of Seattle. When Congress pulled funding on the SST project, Seattle was on the verge of closing down. But, Boeing survived and subsequently created some great new airplanes. The 787 concept sounded, well, ‘dreamy’. Who among us, with a whole respect and appreciation for the natural environment that attracted so many young professionals (like my father) to settle in Seattle, would not appreciate Boeing’s progress toward quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft?

1971 photo by Seattle Times

There are many of us who accept the reality that climate change is being driven by excessive human consumption of fossil fuels. We want to see less frequent flying (and less driving, too), but we can sure appreciate Boeing’s progress in aviation. I certainly do. But, we also need to know these aircraft are safe. And we need to know that the regulatory efforts by FAA and other authorities are meaningful, not just show. Not just cover.

A few links:
(hover on the links for descriptions)

WEB
WEB
WEB
WEB

aiR-link

With that said, below is a copy of the 2007 proposal,** wherein FAA eventually granted Boeing less regulation related to their Li-ion batteries in the 787-8 model. The full proposal was posted in the Federal Register on 4/30/07,WEB and shows a ‘signoff’ (at the very bottom of the Federal Register item) by Stephen Boyd, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. Notably, Mr. Boyd’s name is listed, but the accountability rests with the actual Administrator. The FAA administrator at the time was Marion Blakey.WEB She served for five more months, completed her 5-year term as Administrator, and then became head of the Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA).WEB Blakey had a profound influence on FAA’s culture, including:

  • she emphasized reducing regulation and letting the industry self-regulate, via the ‘Customer Service Initiative’ (CSI), which she had started in 2003. A Congressional hearing on 4/3/08 exposed how this cultural shift had endangered U.S. airline passengers, on aircraft for which numerous airlines were not compliant with safety directives (AD’s). The most extreme example was fuselage cracking on Southwest’s Boeing 737’s, a problem which repeated on 4/1/11 over Yuma, AZ.
  • she ignored the concerns of her own engineers and certification employees, and then rushed the Eclipse 500 VLJ to certification in July 2006. Within two years, Eclipse was bankrupt and Congress held hearings investigating aircraft system failures and FAA’s cultural failures.
  • she imposed a draconian contract on her air traffic controllers, which included major pay changes as well as trivial yet incendiary new workrules, such as a controller dresscode. On the pay issue, she initiated a split payscale, with new hires earning only 70% of what their older coworkers were paid. As for the dresscode, controllers were actually sent home for wearing blue jeans and sneakers to work. Worst of all, the grievance process was broken, so those few controllers who spoke up against these policies incurred retaliatory suspensions, even firings.
  • she experienced the highest rate of whistleblower filings in FAA’s history.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 25

[Docket No. NM375 Special Conditions No. 25-07-10-SC]

Special Conditions: Boeing Model 787-8 Airplane; Lithium Ion 
Battery Installation

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY:

This notice proposes special conditions for the Boeing Model 787-8 airplane. This airplane will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes. The Boeing Model 787-8 airplanes will use high capacity lithium ion battery technology in on-board systems. For this design feature, the applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards. Additional special conditions will be issued for other novel or unusual design features of the Boeing Model 787-8 airplanes.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before June 14, 2007.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The 787 will incorporate a number of novel or unusual design features. Because of rapid improvements in airplane technology, the applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. These proposed special conditions for the 787 contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.
The 787 design includes planned use of lithium ion batteries for the following applications:

  • Main and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) Battery/Battery Charger System
  • Flight Control Electronics
  • Emergency Lighting System
  • Recorder Independent Power Supply

Large, high capacity, rechargeable lithium ion batteries are a novel or unusual design feature in transport category airplanes. This type of battery has certain failure, operational, and maintenance characteristics that differ significantly from those of the nickel-cadmium and lead-acid rechargeable batteries currently approved for installation on large transport category airplanes. The FAA is proposing this special condition to require that (1) All characteristics of the lithium ion battery and its installation that could affect safe operation of the 787 are addressed, and (2) appropriate maintenance requirements are established to ensure the availability of electrical power from the batteries when needed.

Background

The current regulations governing installation of batteries in large transport category airplanes were derived from Civil Air Regulations (CAR) part 4b.625(d) as part of the re-codification of CAR 4b that established 14 CFR part 25 in February, 1965. The new battery requirements, 14 CFR 25.1353(c)(1) through (c)(4), basically reworded the CAR requirements.

Battery requirements for large transport airplanes were drafted in 1965. They were redrafted in 1977 and 1978,  for NiCad battery usage. This amendment, done 29-years later, was for Li-ion technology.

Increased use of nickel-cadmium batteries in small airplanes resulted in increased incidents of battery fires and failures. This led to additional rulemaking affecting large transport category airplanes as well as small airplanes. On September 1, 1977, and March 1, 1978, respectively the FAA issued 14 CFR 25.1353c(5) and c(6), governing nickel-cadmium battery installations on large transport category airplanes.

The proposed use of lithium ion batteries for the emergency lighting system on the 787 has prompted the FAA to review the adequacy of these existing regulations. Our review indicates that existing regulations do not adequately address several failure, operational, and maintenance characteristics of lithium ion batteries that could affect the safety and reliability of the 787’s lithium ion battery installation.

At present, there is limited experience with use of rechargeable lithium ion batteries in applications involving commercial aviation. However, other users of this technology, ranging from wireless telephone manufacturing to the electric vehicle industry, have noted safety problems with lithium ion batteries. These problems include overcharging, over-discharging, and flammability of cell components.

1. Overcharging

In general, lithium ion batteries are significantly more susceptible to internal failures that can result in self-sustaining increases in temperature and pressure (thermal runaway) than their nickel-cadmium or lead-acid counterparts. This is especially true for overcharging, which causes heating and destabilization of the components of the cell, leading to formation (by plating) of highly unstable metallic lithium. The metallic lithium can ignite, resulting in a self-sustaining fire or explosion. Finally, the severity of thermal runaway from overcharging increases with increasing battery capacity, because of the higher amount of electrolytes in large batteries.

2. Over-Discharging

Discharge of some types of lithium ion batteries beyond a certain voltage (typically 2.4 volts) can cause corrosion of the electrodes of the cell, resulting in loss of battery capacity that cannot be reversed by recharging. This loss of capacity may not be detected by the simple voltage measurements commonly available to flightcrews as a means of checking battery status. This is a problem shared with nickel-cadmium batteries.

3. Flammability of Cell Components

Unlike nickel-cadmium and lead-acid batteries, some types of lithium ion batteries use liquid electrolytes that are flammable. The electrolytes can serve as a source of fuel for an external fire, if there is a breach of the battery container.

These problems experienced by users of lithium ion batteries raise concern about use of these batteries in commercial aviation. The intent of these proposed special conditions is to establish appropriate airworthiness standards for lithium ion battery installations in the 787 and to ensure, as required by 14 CFR 25.601, that these battery installations are not hazardous or unreliable. To address these concerns, these proposed special conditions adopt the following requirements:

Those sections of 14 CFR 25.1353 that are applicable to lithium ion batteries.

  • The flammable fluid fire protection requirements of 14 CFR 25.863. In the past, this rule was not applied to batteries of transport category airplanes, since the electrolytes used in lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries are not flammable.
  • New requirements to address the hazards of overcharging and over-discharging that are unique to lithium ion batteries.
  • New maintenance requirements to ensure that batteries used as spares are maintained in an appropriate state of charge.
  • These proposed special conditions are similar to special conditions adopted for the Airbus A380 (71 FR 74755); December 13, 2006).

Applicability

As discussed above, these proposed special conditions are applicable to the 787. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design features, these proposed special conditions would apply to that model as well under the provisions of Sec. 21.101.

Conclusion

This action would affect only certain novel or unusual design features of the 787. It is not a rule of general applicability, and it would affect only the applicant that applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

  • Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
  • The authority citation for these Special Conditions is as follows:
  • Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Proposed Special Conditions

Accordingly, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for the Boeing Model 787-8 airplane.

In lieu of the requirements of 14 CFR 25.1353(c)(1) through (c)(4), the following special conditions apply. Lithium ion batteries on the Boeing Model 787-8 airplane must be designed and installed as follows:

(1) Safe cell temperatures and pressures must be maintained during any foreseeable charging or discharging condition and during any failure of the charging or battery monitoring system not shown to be extremely remote. The lithium ion battery installation must preclude explosion in the event of those failures.
(2) Design of the lithium ion batteries must preclude the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure.
(3) No explosive or toxic gases emitted by any lithium ion battery in normal operation, or as the result of any failure of the battery charging system, monitoring system, or battery installation not shown to be extremely remote, may accumulate in hazardous quantities within the airplane.
(4) Installations of lithium ion batteries must meet the requirements of 14 CFR 25.863(a) through (d).
(5) No corrosive fluids or gases that may escape from any lithium ion battery may damage surrounding structure or any adjacent systems, equipment, or electrical wiring of the airplane in such a way as to cause a major or more severe failure condition, in accordance with 14 CFR 25.1309(b) and applicable regulatory
guidance.
(6) Each lithium ion battery installation must have provisions to prevent any hazardous effect on structure or essential systems caused by the maximum amount of heat the battery can generate during a short circuit of the battery or of its individual cells.
(7) Lithium ion battery installations must have a system to control the charging rate of the battery automatically, so as to prevent battery overheating or overcharging, and,
(i) A battery temperature sensing and over-temperature warning system with a means for automatically disconnecting the battery from its charging source in the event of an over-temperature condition, or,
(ii) A battery failure sensing and warning system with a means for automatically disconnecting the battery from its charging source in the event of battery failure.
(8) Any lithium ion battery installation whose function is required for safe operation of the airplane must incorporate a monitoring and warning feature that will provide an indication to the appropriate flight crewmembers whenever the state-of-charge of the batteries has fallen below levels considered acceptable for
dispatch of the airplane.
(9) The Instructions for Continued Airworthiness required by 14 CFR 25.1529 must contain maintenance requirements for measurements of battery capacity at appropriate intervals to ensure that batteries whose function is required for safe operation of the airplane will perform their intended function as long as the battery is installed in the airplane. The Instructions for Continued Airworthiness must also contain procedures for the maintenance of lithium ion batteries in spares storage to prevent the replacement of batteries whose function is required for safe operation of the airplane with batteries that have experienced degraded charge retention ability or other damage due to prolonged storage at a low state of charge.

 

Note: These special conditions are not intended to replace 14 CFR 25.1353(c) in the certification basis of the Boeing 787-8 airplane. These special conditions apply only to lithium ion batteries and their installations. The requirements of 14 CFR 25.1353(c) remain in effect for batteries and battery installations of the Boeing 787-8 airplane that do not use lithium ion batteries.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 23, 2007.

Stephen P. Boyd, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. E7-8186 Filed 4-27-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

**FOOTNOTE: some boilerplate portions were removed from this posted copy of the proposal. As background, the general process for amending the battery rules involved Boeing creating a request, FAA attorneys drafting language to post on the Federal Register, an open-period for citizens to submit comments, then a decision finalized by officials in both the FAA Certification and FAA Legal branches.

[Edits: 3-26-13;]