Boeing Asks Airlines To Check ELTs

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Investigators are reportedly checking into the possibility that a short-circuit in the wiring of a Honeywell International ELT led to a fire aboard an Ethiopian Airlines 787 on the ground at Heathrow this July, and Boeing is asking airlines to initiate inspections of all aircraft models carrying that product. According to sources close to the investigation, wires crushed under a cover of Honeywell's ELT may have led to a short-circuit that triggered the fire on the Ethiopian Airlines jet, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Boeing hopes inspections will gather data useful in identifying and rectifying a flaw if one is identified. Aside from the 787, Boeing 717, 737, 747-400, 767 and 777 aircraft may be affected. 

Boeing says its goal is to gather information that could support rulemaking efforts if a common fault or suspect condition is identified. There may be some evidence already. Last week ANA, the largest operator of 787 Dreamliners, began checks on all its aircraft with Honeywell beacons. Not all Dreamliners carry the Honeywell beacons, but some other models do. So far, at least two carriers  have reported finding pinched or dented wires in Honeywell beacons. The U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch previously recommended that aircraft carrying the Honeywell beacons be inspected and EASA last week issued similar instructions. The FAA has ordered inspections or removal of the ELTs on 787 aircraft.