The latest directive directs investigation away from the Honeywell ELT unit but towards "wire damage or pinching” following the July 12th Ethiopian Airlines 787-8 fire at Londons Heathrow Airport.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) however is currently preparing its own airworthiness directive (AD) to require 787 operators to temporarily remove their ELTs following concerns raised by an investigation into the 787 fire at Heathrow.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is leading the investigation into the July 12th fire onboard a parked 787 in blistering sunshine, strongly suggested that ELTs on all in-service Dreamliners be rendered temporarily “inert.”
In an FAA statement they claimed the FAA “is working with Boeing to develop instructions to operators for inspection of the [ELTs] on Boeing 787 aircraft.”
“These inspections would ask operators to inspect for proper wire routing and any signs of wire damage or pinching, as well as inspect the battery compartment for unusual signs of heating or moisture.”
The FAA goes on: "It noted that US federal aviation regulations “do not require large commercial aircraft in scheduled service to be equipped with these devices.” Both Boeing and Honeywell agree the AAIB recommendation to make 787 ELTs temporarily inert is 'a reasonable precautionary step'.
JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)