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Dreamliner computer glitch forces Polish airline to switch jets

A computer malfunction on a Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliner forced LOT (LOT.UL) to call off a transatlantic flight from Warsaw late on Monday and switch the passengers onto another jet instead, the Polish airline said. ( Mehr...

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Daniel Bailey 5
This is just my opinion... Flying the 787 is my job and I LOVE the airplane. I've flown a bunch of different Boeings, Falcons, Lears, etc.. and this is, by far, my favorite. I do miss the old 727 with it's round dials and manual navigation, I was much busier in the cockpit back then (Wow, only 12 years ago -- sigh...) but the automation of the 787 is really not too much more than the 76 or 77. It's the skin, what's under the skin (i.e. the data bus architecture), the fly-by-wire, the two computers running the whole show, and the freaking awesome advanced engines that make the plane. Not to mention that it just looks sexy as hell, for an airplane lol That being said, when certain problems occur you fix them the same way you fix your laptop when it's hanging up.. you turn off the power and restart it!! I've had to do this on only one occasion, a complete power down and ground up restart of the "Common Computing Resources". It worked but did take a couple of hours. We made up half the delay by flying faster (M0.87) over the course of a 13 hr flight, still with a fuel burn that looks more like a 737, in a very quiet cockpit, at a 6K ft cabin altitude with relatively humid cabin air, active turbulence mitigation, and loving every minute of it. I think I'm a fairly decent judge of aircraft, having flown more than 100 types from L-18s to single engine jets to the 747 and I LOVE the 787, notwithstanding the less and less frequent hiccups. Still learning every time I fly it, but I'm not in a big hurry to change airplanes. :)

By the way, most of the small problems we see are fixed with a laptop from the cockpit, or by "re-racking" the hardware in the avionics bay just like we did with the old 727s, 737s, Falcons, etc..
James Mering 1
A comment from one who knows!
Roland Dent 1
Right On Daniel...been telling people this from the start. To me this is like giving operators a 2014 designed car in 1987. Everything is different apart from the basic flying ability we all SHOULD have. It has a proper yoke, a proper power throttle lever and a whole bunch of high tech systems including your basic lithium battery that some airport fire fighters know feck all about when they are on fire. Good on ya for posting this. All we need now are the goodies from the black ops and we can get NYC to Sydney in two hours at 150k feet.
Terence Rucker 2
On the same day, two 737s, four A320s, one A340, one 747, two A330s, and a Piper Cub all had to scrub a flight over technical issues. Boy, THAT was news!

I mean really, what's next? "787 had to delay flight due to malfunctioning toilet!!"

Surely there is something more interesting and challenging than nit-picking the awesome 787. It has less issues to date than the 747, 777, and the A380 at this point in their deployment.

Let's see some real news.

Thanks. TR
JASON AWID 3 we go again...what is up with this beautiful aircraft!!... ouch!
This airplane has parts from everywhere on the planet. Its doomed. Made in America and parts is what's up. Too u dumb CEOs bring the jobs back too the USA before things get out of control.
Scott Campbell 3
Well from personnal experience the 747 cant even come close to the 787.
Maybe the 47-800 but not the the 400's. Having been on two 787 flights
I can say - I would go out of my way to be on one, with the lowest sound level
of any wide body, there is nothing to compare it to yet, ...
You dont know what your missing Harry :)
The article failed to mention that the 787 Dreamliner is delivering on its promised 20% fuel savings. That is a game changer with huge savings for the airlines flying them. This aircraft is a whole new concept in materials technology and electronics used to make this all happen, as opposed to other new airliners using older already used and proven technology in it's make up. I know that Airbus is very thankful that Boeing went first working on all the technology glitches before introducing its "Me Too" answer in the A350. Why even bother getting into the race with Boeing?
Boeing is making up for the errors along the way. They paid 30 million in reparations to Lot. So, you armchair/couch airline CEO's and pilots, feast on this; Boeing has delivered upwards of 70 787's to the world's airlines, but has firm orders for over 1000 of these in the different variations. It has been worth the gamble even at this point in time with all the setbacks this stage of the game. The problems will get worked out as they always do by Boeing. What do they know that you don't?
microwalda 3
I don't think Boeing is facing the problems with this aircraft properly.
For example, the problem with the batteries is still there, Boeing just did some changes to contain the fire but no changes to solve the faulty batteries. It was reported some weeks ago that another plane suffered another battery fire, this time the fire was contained, but I don't think that this is a good way of solving issues on a aircraft.
And the problem with the anti ice system is also there. The aircraft is ban to fly some routes and, correct me if I'm wrong, no fix has been done on the aircraft since the ban was issued.
Daniel Bailey 8
As a 787 pilot I think you're overstating the problems microwalda. We do have operational bulletins to prevent flying in high altitude ice crystals (if that's what you're referring to regarding the anti-ice system) or the fact that some temperature ranges we manually turn on the engine anti-ice similarly to what pilots have been doing since Boeing began putting EAI on aircraft. As to the batteries, that topic deserves it's own forum, there's too much to say here to even begin but I get on that airplane every time I go to work and I'm 100% confident in the aircrafts ability to get me where I'm going safely and the design of the safety systems. Any complicated aircraft has potential problems, but I personally believe that Boeing is responding very well to getting this groundbreaking, advanced aircraft up to the same reliability standards as the 777 or A330 etc.. It's very close right now.

The "fixes" to which you are referring will come with scheduled software updates to the a/c. Just about everything on the 787 is controlled and monitored by software via a very new and different data bus architecture. Software updates aren't just rushed through and thrown on the aircraft without a substantial test, evaluation (through sim and flight test), and certification period. So, we have operational bulletins to effect how we fly the aircraft until certain software updates can be made. The same thing still happens on the 737NG all the time, so it's not a conspiracy or lack of support by Boeing, it's just Boeing being damn sure that their fixes are not going to negatively impact something else in the aircraft. I've been on the engineering side of this and I appreciate the Boeing Reps that meet my aircraft everywhere I go and I appreciate their careful and considered approach to solving the smaller and smaller number of problems this aircraft faces. We have to realize that both Boeing and Airbus really do make remarkably great and safe aircraft, including the 787 and I'm sure (having learned some things from Boeing, the A350 also), otherwise there would be accidents every day by the operators flying these things in some parts of the world where they don't really know what they're doing. These airplanes are mind-blowingly safe compared to virtually any other form of transportation, including walking.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts on the matter.. :)
Tim Duggan 3
"microwalda*, you are over-stating and exaggerating based on an incomplete ('layperson's') understanding.

QUOTE: "And the problem with the anti ice system is also there. The aircraft is ban to fly some routes ..."

No, this situation is affecting many engine types, and is a rather "new" development that is a rare encounter, but has been seen occasionally. Usually at cruise altitude when ambient outside air temperatures (OAT) and total air temperature (TAT) are well below freezing, engine A/I is not needed. It's been found that some conditions aloft can nevertheless still result in engine ice build-up.

But, the GE NX turbofan engine is particularly susceptible. SO, it isn't a Boeing problem at all!!

Scholarly article:
kborgen37 2
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the engine issue with GE or whoever made it? (I don't remember off the top of my head) but I remember them saying that it was a software glitch that was also affecting the 747-8 which had the same engine software on it. Dreamliners with the Rolls-Royce engines have no restrictions or bans on them. As for the battery issue I agree with Boeing sweeping the problem under the rug but I belive that behind the scenes they are probably working on a more permanent fix to this issue
Roland Dent 1
If they had used Panasonic instead of Yuasa there would have been no problems. The problems arise when you use the back streets of Shenzen to supply the components. Nobody has had the guts to say this but the fact is that Yauasa is a mickey mouse player and the reason it was chosen are vague, obtuse and questionable. You need need nanotechnolgy to make these units and Yuasa just ain't got the kind of capital to have that kit. might as well go down to Walmart and buy 'em off the shelf and change 'em once a month. That's a better method than the cert procedure was when these units were endorsed. Remamber the whistle blower on the USA test facility. All to do with politics and damn all to do with engineering integrity.
linbb 1
So it seems you think that they are just sitting on the problems and doing nothing more to either correct them, battery faiures,computer problems,and the icing problem, oh wait its not them its the engine manufacture on that one, oh gee and they don't build the charger for the batterys or the batterys themselves. Hmm what does that leave? Even at that they are working behind the scenes to fix things don't think otherwise. Airbus has there problems too but with Boeing in the news they are very happy to keep it that way.
Roland Dent 1
I think there is a lot of politics in who gets what contract. On the macro level USA wants to trade with Japan and other allies. On the micro level it comes down to which politician is getting funding from which corporation. Bit like office politics on a global scale and all to do with hubris money and power. Tell me more about the icing problem please. Personally I would never buy an airbus product because control sticks belong in military fighters and yokes are a vital aid to hand eye machine co-ordination. The battery failures are down to plain incompetence and lack of investment and someone somewhere made a deal. The USA certification company lost a whole building in fire while they were testing these batteries. In this sense the USA needs a good kick up the A because if they don't start firing some of these decision makers the whole country is down the tubes. Somebody has to get the guts to stand up to these bullies. The fact is that your average techie who works on these machines knows a hell of a lot more than the academics and MBAs who make decisions that are well outside of their competence.
Roland Dent 1
Yup I see the icing problem in the engine. Now when I was at college fluid dynamics were not a big thing like they are now and I have no idea why they have a problem. What I do know is that engine designs are changing fast. I also know from experience dating back to 1967 that the military have systems that make Isaac Newton a dwarf compared to Nicola Tesla. We are stuck at 1947 technology and most of us are sick to the teeth paying big money for kerosene.
Recently an Air India Dreamliner reported failure of all three onboard computers and the aircraft made an emergency landing
blueashflyer 0
ha ha - article says had to restart the computer. takes a couple hours. had to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL, get the Administrator password, had to download a new driver - must be WINDOWS 95!
Harry Krebs 0
I remember when the 747 came out. I could not wait until Z got a chance to ride in one. Unfortunately, I have no such feeling for the 787.
jeff slack 1
You need to find a way to get your rear end in one.
The aircraft is stupifyingly brilliant!
Not safe too say it actually was a rush airplane to keep up with Airbus.
Too Michael Blickfeldt. If u can't love the one u want then love the u with. Greed will hurt you. Problem right now with people. What is love? Is it money? I see that technology has forgotten about things that really matter. If we don't slow down and acknowledge the Mosthigh, we all are gonna be like that 787 Dreamliner, Just a dream.
Man is moving too fast.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Microwalda, it's the same as going too the doctor, they fix the symptoms instead of fixing the entire problem. Money and greed will be the end result.

[This poster has been suspended.]

[This comment was deleted.]

Roaether 1
? um...spam?

1. Im just saying that the 787 is a terrible plane... Boeing needs to get off there butts and fix all the problems. the 787 was introduce just over 4 years ago and it has been plagued with issue after issue. It has been grounded numerous times, yet the problems still haven't been solved. Boeing needs to fix the issues with it before one goes down because of it, killing people in the process.

2. This is not spam. I am not sure you know what spam is. Spam is when one person posts several posts to annoy the crap out of people. Like sending 150 emails to someone all say stupid stuff (usually in a short amount of time), or going on a forum and posting hundreds of messages all saying dumb stuff that is irrelevant to the topic at hand, often in a fast manner. Or it can be a business posting and ad, which is more common. What I did was not spamming, I posted one message, stating how the 787 is bad, in an article about the 787, now how is that spam?

3. The head office? Really? When you are referring to "The Head office", I am guessing that you either simply reported it or you went through all the trouble to Email the admins of FlightAware. And Why? Because I posted one message that you don't agree with...

If anyone here is spamming here it would be you my friend. Now get off my back.
Daniel Bailey 6
Hey Brian, from my perspective flying the 78 I see Boeing Reps every time I get in or out of the cockpit. I find them very responsive and they have been busting their butts out on the line to improve the reliability of the airplane to the point it is nearing the 777. I believe it is ahead of the curve in terms of achieving their reliability rate when compared to the introduction of the 777. Nevertheless, the 787 has a magnifying glass focused on it by the media, which is fine by me. As problems or nuisances are found with the airplane, Boeing is on top of it (from my view) and has either been fixing it or giving us operational bulletins (just like all other Airbuses and Boeings to this day) to go by until software or hardware is updated.. It's not your old tube, fabric, and cable airplane, but that's why it has AMAZING performance and a fantastic customer experience. As to the safety of the aircraft, I'm not going to block out of the gate unless I, and my whole crew including flight attendants, am 100% certain it is safe to go and we will make it SAFELY to our destination. I know every other crew feels the same way, which is probably why the entire air system is so freakishly safe these days. Once airborne, we are always monitoring every system and the health of the aircraft and at the first sign of a potential problem we deal with it by either securing the system or landing. Believe me, the pilots want to get to their destination just as safely as the passengers, maybe more so because our hard won careers depend on it, too. Hope you can check out a 787 sometime to see what you think and maybe see how closely and hard Boeing is working to make this airplane reach the same dispatch reliability as their other models. Just my thoughts... :)
Roaether 0
Yes, I am not saying that the 787 is a terrible aircraft, and there have certainly been worse jetliners in the past. It is good to hear from you on how the plane actually flies because I cannot rate the aircraft on flying abilities as I have never been on one (I am only 16 so I don't get to travel much). I believe that the 787 is an amazing leap forward in airliners. I am just saying that the 787 has been plagued since its release a few years back (namely the battery issues). I believe that they are doing well at trying to fix the issues, but it seems that when one thing is solved its back in the news for some other issue.

When I made that first comment about saying they should get rid of it was not literal. I was simply stating that something about its issues needs to be done, soon. But now everyone is upset like I said something forbidden.

Thanks for the input too. It always helps to have someone who has actually flown the plane.
Roaether 0
Alright, I might have said it was terrible above, but forget that, I mean that its because of its problems, and that was me ranting at a guy who said I was spamming
Gary Bennett 0
Well said Dan! You lucky dog! What a wonderful craft you get to command... Its good to hear from up front! Thanks!
Gary Bennett 0
No it not spam! Its just plane stupidity on your behalf! Oh yes that is a play on words...
Roaether 0
stupidity on my part, when I said they should get rid of them I wasn't meaning literally... what are you implying

and no bad puns, that was just terrible
Gary Bennett 0
The 787 has a 97%+ dispatch record. My implication is you are a dolt and what you say on this post really shows your ignorance.


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