Investigators into Heathrow 787 fire looking at emergency locator

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @GlennFarley

KING5.com

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 15 at 6:36 PM

Investigators in Britain are trying to figure out why a Boeing 787 caught fire on Friday, sending Boeing's stock plunging.

Boeing's stock has mostly rebounded from five percent drop on Friday. British authorities are saying the plane's main  lithium ion batteries - the ones that lead to the grounding earlier this year - are not at issue here, but the plane's emergency locator transmitter might be.

The main batteries were not really suspected. That’s because the fire broke out on the top of the airplane near the vertical stabilizer, nowhere near the rear battery located at the bottom of the plane behind the wing.

But the emergency locator is attached to that specific part of the upper fuselage that appeared to catch fire on Friday. It’s designed to help rescuers locate a plane in the event of a crash or another emergency.

There was also a question last Friday that the fire may have started in the crew area, but it turns out Ethiopian Airlines did not choose that option. But there is a galley – one of the plane’s kitchens – in that zone.

Power was connected to the plane, which had been sitting for eight hours in the parking area; it was not at a gate. The ELT as it’s known does have a small, non-rechargeable lithium magnesium battery in it. That is sure to be examined, but like most things, these investigations are a matter of ruling things out and finally narrowing things down to a cause.


 

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