An emergency beacon was determined as the cause of the fire of a Dreamliner parked at the Heathrow airport

Boeing urges airliners to allow emergency beacon inspection

Boeing has requested all airliners operating its aircraft to allow inspection of the emergency locator transmitters.

The recommendation follows the investigation of UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) into the causes of a fire aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Ethiopian airlines.

The aircraft parked on a remote stand caught fire earlier this month on London’s Heathrow airport.

The beacon, used to transmit the aircraft’s location in case of a crash, is designed and manufactured by Honeywell. Despite no previous issues regarding the device’s safety have been reported, Honeywell agreed to inspect all the beacons used in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other types of Boeing aircraft worldwide.

"Boeing is asking specific operators of 717, Next-Generation 737, 747-400, 767 and 777s to inspect aircraft with the Honeywell fixed emergency locator transmitters," a Boeing spokesman said in an emailed statement on Sunday. "The purpose of these inspections is to gather data to support potential rulemaking by regulators," he added.

The AAIB has identified the lithium batteries of the emergency locator transmitter as the most probable cause of the ignition of the Ethiopian Dreamliner. 

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