The AAIB announced yesterday that last week’s fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines plane at Heathrow may have been caused by the emergency locator transmitter (ELT), used to locate aircraft after a crash. It recommended that all ELTs are turned off while it investigates and that regulators conduct a safety review of similar components in other aircraft.
This follows the grounding of all 50 Dreamliners in service worldwide in January after two separate incidents concerning batteries.
Boeing commercial airplanes communications manager for Europe Dan Mosely said the company was limited in the response it could make while the investigation was ongoing.
‘There is something called Annex 13 which means the AAIB is the only authorised party that can talk about the investigation. Yesterday was an interim report and these recommendations will need to be interpreted by the [US] Federal Aviation Authority.’
He said Boeing was planning a fuller response in a few weeks when the investigation was complete.
Boeing's statement said: ‘The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.
‘As a party to the investigation, Boeing supports the two recommendations from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which we think are reasonable precautionary measures to take as the investigation proceeds. We are working proactively to support the regulatory authorities in taking appropriate action in response to these recommendations, in co-ordination with our customers, suppliers and other commercial airplane manufacturers.
‘We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity.’