FAA on Tuesday issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) requiring airlines to inspect more all aircraft equipped with Honeywell emergency locator transmitters (ELT).
The directive requires inspections of Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, ATR and Dassault Aviation SA aircraft, to ensure that the ELTs do not pose risks that could lead to a fire. FAA’s AD is identical to the order issued by the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) in August.
Both FAA and TCCA’s ADs were prompted by an investigation by U.K. civil aviation officials into a fire that occurred on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at Heathrow Airport in July. The investigation is ongoing, led by U.K.’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), however after a technical examination of the aircraft, officials found the most extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage, near the location of the ELT system.
Originally, FAA issued a directive in July requiring U.S.-based Boeing 787 operators to either inspect or remove ELTs from their aircraft. That order applied to United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier currently operating the 787. The new directive extends the inspection requirements to all aircraft equipped with the Honeywell ELT to prevent an “electrical short and possible ignition source,” according to a statement from FAA.
The agency said the AD will impact nearly 4,000 aircraft within the U.S. fleet at a total cost of $325,720.
Related: Commercial Avionics News