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.
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 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.
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.