Tag Archives: aircraft batteries

NTSB to conduct teardown examinations on Boeing 787 batteries cells with CT scans

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The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington), which is still investing the Boeing 787 battery fire at Boston, is seeking help in conducting teardown examinations of Boeing 787 battery cells. The NTSB is asking for help with the CT scans.

The NTSB issued this statement:

The NTSB is planning to conduct teardown examinations as soon as possible of several aircraft batteries similar to one involved in an aircraft incident. This urgent requirement is in support of accident investigation DCA13IA037 that occurred in Boston, MA. To facilitate those examinations, CT scans of these batteries and their subcomponents are required to non-destructively determine as much information as possible about those components. In addition, batteries and battery cells of the same type which have been subjected to known test conditions will also be scanned. These scans will be conducted both before and after the test conditions are applied. Since these batteries are of the lithium ion type and have substantial shipping restrictions (including a requirement for ground shipping only using specially qualified hazardous materials shippers which would cause a delay of several days to accommodate), these scans need to be conducted at a location close to Washington, D.C. to allow the NTSB to transport the battery to the contractor and thereby avoid shipping and other logistical complications. They must also be completed within the shortest timeframe possible to provide the fastest possible receipt of this information to avoid potential future accidents involving this type of aircraft battery. Since the FAA has recently approved a plan intended to result in the Boeing 787 being approved for a return to service, the information from these tests (and the CT scans required to support these tests) is needed as soon as possible. A scan report that documents items such as the x-ray source power used, x-ray focal spot size, detector used, integration time, number of views, image pixel size, slice thickness, total length scanned, number of slices, etc. is due no later than 10 days after the end of the scanning activity. The NTSB has a requirement for CT scanning services to begin on May 6, 2013. Therefore, this requirement is urgent.


The NTSB has a requirement for CT scans of eight (8) Boeing 787 batteries cells. In addition, the NTSB has a requirement for additional scanning work for up to 40 additional battery cells or their equivalent scanning effort to be used as needed at the discretion of the NTSB. The scanning work for the “up to 40 additional battery cells” will be conducted in two installments. The cells will first be scanned in a “before testing” configuration, and then scanned again after testing has been completed with the cells. Finally, the NTSB requires at least 2 digital radiographs per component (90 degrees apart).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE