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NTSB issues sixth update on JAL Boeing 787 battery fire investigation

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NTSB investigator Joseph Panagiotou examines a battery cell from the JAL B-787 with a stereo microscope Credit NTSB NTSB investigator Joseph Panagiotou examines a battery cell from the JAL B-787 with a stereo microscope Credit NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board yesterday released the sixth update on its investigation into the Jan. 7 fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Logan International Airport in Boston.

The examination of the damaged battery continues. The work has transitioned from macroscopic to microscopic examinations and into chemical and elemental analysis of the areas of internal short circuiting and thermal damage.

Examination and testing of the exemplar battery from the JAL airplane has begun at the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center laboratories. Detailed examinations will be looking for signs of in-service damage and manufacturing defects. The test program will include mechanical and electrical tests to determine the performance of the battery, and to uncover signs of any degradation in expected performance.

As a party contributing to the investigation, Boeing is providing pertinent fleet information, which will help investigators understand the operating history of lithium-ion batteries on those airplanes.

An investigative group continued to interpret data from the two digital flight data recorders on the aircraft, and is examining recorded signals to determine if they might yield additional information about the performance of the battery and the operation of the charging system.

In addition to the activities in Washington, investigators are continuing their work in Seattle and Japan.

Additional information on the NTSB's investigation of the Japan Airlines B-787 battery fire in Boston is available at http://go.usa.gov/4K4J.

The NTSB will provide another factual update on Friday, Feb. 1, or earlier if developments warrant. To be alerted to any updates or developments, follow the NTSB on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ntsb.

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