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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.


Ethiopian Airlines to continue operating Dreamliners

Ethiopian Airlines said it would continue to operate its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners after one of them caught fire at Heathrow airport.

Emergency services surround the plane.

The company's public relations department said: "We have not grounded any of our aircraft. The incident at Heathrow happened while the plane was on the ground and had been for more than eight hours and was not related to flight safety."

Asked whether the airline has determined the cause of the fire, Ethiopian Airlines said: "There is no new development. No safety issue. The incident is being investigated to determine cause of smoke."

Heathrow Airport warns of cancellations and delays

Air accident experts will continue their investigation today into the cause of a fire on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet at Heathrow Airport which left thousands of passengers facing travel chaos.

Heathrow Airport has warned that there will be some cancellations and delays to flights.

The airport's website is advising passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to Heathrow.


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