British Inquiry Ties 787 Fire to Beacon

July 19, 2013

The New York Times – After British authorities urged American regulators to order airlines to disconnect the batteries in the emergency transmitters on Boeing 787s, the Federal Aviation Administration took a more measured approach, saying that it would review the matter.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch, which also called for a broader safety review of similar devices in thousands of other passenger jets, made its recommendations on Thursday after finding signs of disruption in the battery cells of an emergency transmitter on a 787 Dreamliner that caught fire while parked at Heathrow Airport last week.

Most passenger jets do not have fire suppressant systems near the devices, which send out a plane’s location after a crash. If a fire occurred in flight, the British investigators said, “it could pose a significant safety concern and raise challenges for the cabin crew.”

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