Boeing 787 fire 'wiring link'

Officials investigating the fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet at Heathrow airport are focused on how condensation in the plane and a possible pinched wire in an emergency beacon may have sparked the blaze, Reuters reported, citing a source.

Boeing 'supports actions by regulators' after 787 blaze

Boeing said it is "supporting the actions by regulators" following a blaze on one of the company's 787 Dreamliner jets at Heathrow airport last week:

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Boeing is supporting the actions by regulators in response to @aaibgovuk special bulletin on 787 emergency locator transmitters.

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We’ve provided instructions to 787 customers to meet regulatory guidelines. #Boeing

US probe of Boeing 787 fire 'focuses on wiring'

US officials investigating the fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet at Heathrow airport last week are focused on how condensation in the plane and a possible pinched wire in an emergency beacon may have sparked the blaze, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it will call for inspections of the beacons made by the Fortune 100 firm Honeywell, but stopped short of requiring airlines to disable or remove the devices as the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch recommended.

The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet caught fire at Heathrow.
The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet caught fire at Heathrow. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The FAA said inspections should ensure wires are properly routed and should look for pinched wires or signs of unusual moisture or heat. It gave no further details on how those factors may have contributed to the fire.

But a source told Reuters that investigators had found a pinched wire in the casing of the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight.

Read: Boeing 787 fire 'wiring link'

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Boeing supports UK air investigators' recommendations

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We support the 2 recommendations from @aaibgovuk in investigation of last week’s 787 incident at Heathrow. http://t.co/3D6ZPirdbF

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The safety of passengers & crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority. http://t.co/3D6ZPirdbF

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The safety of passengers & crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority. http://t.co/3D6ZPirdbF

Read: Investigators call for review of 787 emergency beacons

Series of Boeing 787 Dreamliner faults and groundings

There has been a number of Boeing 787 Dreamliner faults and groundings since the plane hailed as the most environmentally friendly took to the skies.

In July 2012, a fan shaft on an engine failed during tests in South Carolina.

A burned power unit battery from a Boeing 787. Credit: National Transportation Safety Board

In December of the same year, an United Airline Dreamliner made an emergency landing in New Orleans due to electrical problems.

More recently, a Dreamliner bound for Florida returned to Manchester airport after developing a fault.

Read: Timeline of Boeing 787 Dreamliner faults and groundings

Investigators call for review of 787 emergency beacons

UK air accident investigators have said all emergency locator beacons in Boeing 787 Dreamliners should be disconnected after a blaze on an Ethiopian Airlines jet at Heathrow.

The report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, it was caused by a fire in the transmitter- made by US firm Honeywell - located in the upper portion of the rear fuselage.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane at Heathrow.

There are no other aircraft system in this area of the plane which, with the aircraft unpowered, contained stored energy capable of causing such a fire, the agency said.

Investigators also called for a safety review of lithium-powered emergency locator beacons in all aircraft types.

Signs of 'disruption to battery cells' on Dreamliner

According to the report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch who is leading the investigation into a fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner plane at Heathrow last Friday.

Detailed examination of the ELT [emergency locator transmitter] has shown some indications of disruption to the battery cells. It is not clear however, whether the combustion in the area of the ELT was initiated by a release of energy within the batteries or by an external mechanism such as an electrical short.

In the case of an electrical short, the same batteries could provide the energy for an ignition and suffer damage in the subsequent fire.

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