(AP) – Two airlines disclosed issues with the wiring on their Boeing 787’s emergency transmitters, the same part of the plane that is getting close scrutiny after a parked jet burned earlier this month.
United Airlines said Friday that it found a pinched wire during an inspection of one of its six 787s. Earlier, Japan’s All Nippon Airways found damage to wiring on two Boeing 787 locater beacons. It flies 20 of the jets.
The inspections were mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration for U.S. airlines after the tail of an Ethiopian Airlines 787 caught fire while parked at London’s Heathrow airport earlier this month. U.K. investigators said the only thing in the tail section with enough power to fuel a fire like that was the emergency transmitter. That’s a metal-cased, battery-operated radio the size of a loaf of bread that activates in a crash to help rescuers find a plane.
The FAA said last week it would require U.S. airlines to look for “proper wire routing and any signs of wire damage or pinching,” and to check the transmitter’s battery compartment for signs of heating or moisture. It issued a formal order on Thursday. The European Aviatoin Safety Agency issued its own order on Friday.
A wire could short-circuit if it’s pinched by metal and the metal cuts through the wire’s insulation, exposing the part that carries electricity.
United Continental Holdings Inc. spokesman Christen David said the transmitter with the pinched wire was removed and sent to its maker, Honeywell International Inc. Inspections were carried out without any impact on United’s flight schedule, she said. That transmitter was replaced, and United has working transmitters on all of its 787s, she said.
Spokesmen for Honeywell International Inc. and Boeing Co. both declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
So far, the FAA and European orders have only covered 787s. That’s Boeing’s newest plane, and only 68 have been delivered so far. But those particular transmitters are used on far more planes _ U.K. investigators said they’ve been installed on some 6,000 aircraft.
The fire at Heathrow happened just when Boeing was hoping to get the 787 out of the news. In January, smoldering lithium-ion batteries on two 787s prompted authorities to ground the plane for almost four months, forcing Boeing to redesign the batteries and their chargers.
The grounding was costly for the eight airlines that flew the 787 at the time. Polish officials have said that LOT Polish Airlines _ which is struggling and trying to reorganize its finances _ lost some $30 million from canceled flights alone.
On Wednesday, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney acknowledged that the grounding created “some instances where we had obligations to customers, and those have all been satisfied.” A moment later he added, “We think they are all behind us now.”
LOT disagreed on Friday. In a statement, it said its demands “have not been compensated in any form” by Boeing. A Boeing spokesman did not have an immediate response to LOT’s assertion.
Associated Press Writer Monika Scislowska in Warsaw contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development