The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an airworthiness directive (AD) calling for either the removal or inspection of the Honeywell fixed emergency locator transmitter (ELT) in Boeing 787s.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday it plans to order inspections of the wiring associated with the emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) on Boeing 787s following a recommendation from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch that operators disable the airplanes’ Honeywell-made systems. An Advisory Directive scheduled for publication today would require inspection for proper wire routing and damaged or pinched wires, the statement said. Operators would also need to inspect the transmitter’s battery compartment for condensation or overheating.
The July 12 fire aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at London Heathrow Airport (ELHR) has prompted the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to recommend operators turn off Honeywell’s Rescu 406 AFN emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) aboard the Dreamliner until appropriate airworthiness actions can be completed.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch recommended Thursday that operators of Boeing 787s disable the airplanes’ Honeywell-made emergency locator transmitter following last Friday’s fire aboard a parked Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner at London Heathrow Airport.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s preliminary report on the May 24 incident involving a British Airways Airbus A319 at London Heathrow (LHR) appears to point to inadequate ground maintenance and pre-flight checking. In a special bulletin issued on May 31, the AAIB confirmed that the fan cowl doors on both engines had been left unlatched after maintenance. Just after liftoff, both engine cowlings separated from the aircraft, causing damage that eventually led to one engine fire and shutdown.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) published a further “special bulletin” late last week in its investigation into the controlled ditching of a Bond-operated EC225 medium twin in May in the North Sea, confirming an earlier hint by Eurocopter that the emergency lubrication system gave the pilots a false failure warning.
Eurocopter has issued a statement that essentially clears operator Bond Offshore Helicopters in the ditching of an EC225 medium twin in the North Sea last month. “At this stage of the investigation, neither procedure failure nor human error on the operator’s side have been identified as a potential contributor to the cause of the incident,” the manufacturer said.
A Eurocopter EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters with 14 on board ditched safely into the North Sea on May 10. At 12:13 p.m., G-REDW made “a controlled descent 24 nm offshore,” according to Bond. The investigation is focusing on the failures of two main-gearbox lubrication systems–the standard one and the back-up one.
The EASA issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive for Eurocopter EC225 medium-twin helicopters, requiring operators to closely monitor vibrations. The emergency action stems from a May 10 incident involving an EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters, which safely ditched, with 14 on board, into the North Sea. Under the AD, those EC225s not equipped with vibration health monitoring are restricted to day VFR for flights over water.
The final report issued by the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) after the 2009 crash of a Bond-operated Eurocopter AS332 L2 Super Puma in the North Sea is highlighting imperfections in the main gearbox’s design and, maybe more important, in monitoring systems and maintenance programs.