Financial News

  • 28 July 2013, 23:31

Faulty Dreamliner Beacons Found In Japan

A Japanese airline has found damage to battery wiring on two Dreamliner emergency beacons, the same device suspected of causing a recent plane fire in London.

All Nippon Air (ANA) announced the discovery a day after the US aviation regulator issued an advisory telling carriers to check or replace the beacons on Boeing's troubled next generation aircraft, the 787.

"We have found small damage to the covering of the battery wiring in two emergency locator transmitters (ELT)," ANA spokesman Shinsuke Satake said.

The company, which operates the world's largest fleet of Dreamliners, will send the two ELTs back to the US manufacturer, Honeywell International.

Around a third of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner components are made in Japan and the country has the largest fleets of the plane.

One of the devices, which emit distress signals to help rescuers locate downed craft, had not yet been installed on a plane.

An Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner caught fire at London's Heathrow airport on July 12, forcing the airport to shut down for an hour-and-a-half.

Fire crews doused the aircraft and fire damage could be seen on the top of the rear part of the fuselage, in front of the tail fin.

British authorities recommended that the distress beacons onboard all Boeing Dreamliners be disabled after identifying the devices as the likely cause of the fire.

Boeing's troubled jet was also grounded for more than three months earlier this year after safety incidents involving the plane's lightweight lithium-ion batteries.

Despite spending thousands of man-hours investigating the battery fault, Boeing was unable to ascertain the exact cause.

Instead, the plane maker decided on beefing up the housings to prevent further fires in the auxiliary power units.

A number of other issues have hit the global fleet but Boeing recently said it had full faith in the future of the composite construction aircraft.

:: A 787 operated by Air India suffered an overheated oven earlier this week during a domestic flight.