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Research Dossier

Prepared By: Taylor Bowles


Research Subject: Boeings 787 Dreamliner Crisis
Organization Methodology: For my research Dossier I have chosen
to use Steven Finks framework of crisis management used in the
article Ending the Debate: crisis communication analysis of one
universities American Indian Athletic Identity written by David
Wahlberg.
Phase 1: Analysis or Prodromal; the clues forewarning the crisis
Phase 2: Acute; a crisis triggering event
Phase 3: Chronic; crisis continues as organization responds
Phase 4: Crisis Resolution; where there are clear signals that
mark the end of
the crisis
Code Key: Stasis:
Deductive- Separates data in to the following four categorizes Facts,
Definitions, Values, and Actions. Then briefly explains how it fits into
each category.

Action or Event That Starts the


Crisis
Phase 1: Analysis of Prodromal; clues or
forewarnings to a crisis
January 7, 2013- A battery overheated in an empty 787, and started
a fire. At Bostons Logan International Airport, where Japan Airlines
(JAL) operated the plane. The batteries were lithium ion batteries that
were believed to potentially leak which could cause corroding of other
equipment within the plane that could cause fires. Boeing responded to
this by saying it stood by the integrity of its planes.

Figure 1: The grounded 787 at the


Boston Logan Airport

Coding and Analysis: Facts


So far nothing major has happened, but information has been released
that a plane caught on fire. Since nobody was in the plane there was
very little action taken or values considered. However, facts are formed
that the batteries on these planes could possibly catch on fire.
January 9, 2013- In one of United Airlines six 787s a problem was
reported with the wiring in the exact same place as the fire in the
plane on January 7th. This caused the U.S. National Transportation
Safety Board to open a safety probe that same day.
Coding and Analysis: Facts and Action
More information developed from there being a second problem with
the same type of plane. This shows the public that this wasnt just a
one-time fluke, but could actually happen again on a similar plane. Also
a common link is formed between the two incidents, and that is that
problems were caused by the exact same battery on the exact same
type of plane, making people wary about the integrity of the
Dreamliner 787. Also action took place on this date when the U. S.
National Transportation Safety Board opened a safety probe, to look
into what could have caused these two problems that could not have
been a pure coincidence.
January 11, 2013- The FAA announced that the design,
manufacturing, and assembly of all 787s would be under review.
Coding and Analysis: Action
More action is taking place when the FAA announces that they will be
looking very closely at what may cause this to happen again. By
stating that all steps of making the plane will be under review. By
doing this they are showing that they want to go to the root of the
problem to see where Boeing went wrong when making this particular
plane.

Phase 2: Acute; a crisis triggering event


January 16, 2013- An All Nippon Airways 787 with 129 passengers
and eight crew members on board made an emergency landing on
Shikoku Island due to a computer warning received by the crew of the
plane that there was smoke in one of the electrical compartments, as

well as a battery malfunction that was the same type of battery in the
incident on January 7th and 9th. As well as a burning smells aboard the
plane. After the emergency landing one passenger walked away with a
serious injury and two others walked away with minor injuries after
evacuating the plane by slide on to the runway. After inspection the
battery was found discolored and leaking, and clearly to have reached
high temperature. After that a statement was made that there are no
systems within the electrical department to suppress a fire if one were
to have started. Later that day the Federal Aviation Administration
stated that Boeing must be able to demonstrate the safety of their
batteries before any more flights could be resumed.

Figure 2: Emergency landing of Boeing 787 in Japan

Coding and
Analysis: Facts and Action
Another plane had to make an emergency landing giving everyone
more information about what the problem may be and what could have
been done on board the plane if the problem escalated, which was not
much since there was no fire surprising equipment on the plane where
the fire was. Also after the landing there was a full inspection of the
plane that was able to give everyone more information about what was
causing the battery to catch fire. Making this was the first time that
people were hurt in the evacuation of the plane, which forced The
Federal Aviation Administration to take action, by making Boeing prove
that the batteries aboard the 787s were safe before the would allow
any other planes to take off. Which forced Boeing to take action and
finally admit that there may be a problem, and that they will do
everything they can to make sure that the planes are safe before
anyone else flies on them.

Phase 3: Chronic; crisis continues as


organization responds

As of January 17, 2013- According to European Aviation Safety


Agency All eight airlines currently flying Boeing 787s have grounded
the planes:
All Nippon Airways and Japan Airways have grounded their
combined fleet of 24 787s
United Airlines, the only US airline currently operating
Dreamliners, said it would immediately comply with the FAA's
directive and would begin re-accommodating customers on
alternative aircraft
Chile's LAN announced it would suspend its three Dreamliners
from service in co-ordination with the Chilean Aeronautical
Authority
Indian aviation regulators ordered Air India to stop operating its
787s
Poland's Lot Airlines, the only European airline currently flying
787s, was due to launch its 787 transatlantic service this week,
but cancelled a return flight from Chicago to Warsaw on
Wednesday
Qatar Airways, which currently operates five Dreamliners, said it
had grounded the planes and was "actively working with Boeing
and the regulators to restore full customer confidence in the 787"
Ethiopian Airlines said it was taking its 787s out of service as a
precautionary measure (BBC News, 2013)
Coding an Analysis: Action and Values
A lot of action takes place on this date because as of now all of the
Boeing 787 Dreamliners are grounded until full confidence is restored
to everyone that the plane will work properly. That means eight
agencies had to ground up to 24 planes each, and start to work with
Boeing to fix the problem. And at this point I think the biggest problem
isnt the battery in the plane, but the reputation of the plane. Also
values are taken into consideration when all of the planes are
grounded because you know that doing that is not cheap or easy for an
airline to do, but they value the lives of everyone who chooses to fly
with them so they made the decision not to let a single person fly on a
787 until they were sure it was safe, which couldnt have been easy.
January 23, 2013- The Japanese Safety Board released a preliminary
report that the serous injury receiver by a passenger on January 16th
was a sprained wrist. And it was an odor in the cockpit that caused the
crew to change paths and make an emergency landing. Where no trace
of fire was found by emergency services, however they did find smoke

damage. Also after examination of the battery it was found that it had
buckled and started to leak
Coding and Analysis: Action and Definition
Action is taking place because The Japanese Safety Board released a
report to the public with an explanation or definition of what happened
that helped the public understand what the cause of the problem was
and how bad the situation got. I believe that this would give people
some confidence that they were taking steps to fix the problem beyond
just talking about it. Which helps to rebuild the reputation of the
company because the public sees them taking the problem very
seriously, and that they are genuinely concerned about the safety of
their customers.
February 5, 2013- The Japanese Safety Board Released a second
reporting that all 8 cells of the damaged battery, nominal voltage
29.6V, 75 Ah capacity at 28.5kg/63 lbs., showed thermal damage
before the thermal runaway, particularly cells 3 and 6 are damaged.
The positive electrode of cell 3 shows substantial damage and a hole,
the internal wiring has melted down. (Hradecky, 2013).
Coding and Analysis: Action and Definition
As they did on January 23rd they took action by informing the public. By
giving them more information about what was causing the batteries to
fail and how serious the damage was. They also once again showed
the public that they cared by doing the full investigation of the battery

Phase 4: Crisis Resolution; when there are clear


signals that mark the end of the crisis
April 19, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeings 787s to fly
again. The FAA also is allowing Boeing to deliver more planes to
airlines around the world. This is possible because Boeing solved the
problem by installing better insulation for the cells in the battery and a
steel box to hold the battery and fire if the battery were to ignite again.
They also provided better insulation for smoke and gases within the
battery compartment.
Coding and Analysis: Action and Definition
Action was taken by Boeing to fix the problem by adding everything
they did to the planes, and then explaining to the public everything
that they did to fix the problem and explaining how the batteries are
much less likely to overheat, and if they do how much safer they are.

And because of this the were allowed to deliver planes again and the
787s were allowed to fly again.

Sources"Accident: ANA B788 near Takamatsu on Jan 16th 2013, Battery


Problem and Burning Smell on Board (including JAL Boston,
Ethiopian London and JAL Tokyo Events)." Accident: ANA B788
near Takamatsu on Jan 16th 2013, Battery Problem and Burning
Smell on Board (including JAL Boston, Ethiopian London and JAL
Tokyo Events). Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
"Dreamliner: Boeing 787 Planes Grounded on Safety Fears - BBC
News." BBC News. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
Drew, Christopher, and Jad Mouawad. "Boeing Fix for Battery Is
Approved by F.A.A." The New York Times. The New York Times, 19
Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
"Emergency Landing Grounds Boeing 787 Jets in Japan." KOMO News.
Web. 3 Nov. 2015.