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Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 suffers on-board fire while parked at London Heathrow Airport

15-Jul-2013 11:22 AM

Ethiopian Airlines reported (12-Jul-2013) smoke was detected from one of the carrier’s Boeing 787 aircraft (registration number ET-AOP), which had been parked at London Heathrow Airport for more than eight hours. The aircraft was empty when the incident was observed. The carrier stated the cause of the incident is under investigation by all concerned. London Heathrow Airport reported (13-Jul-2013) an on-board internal fire on the aircraft. UK Air Accidents Investigation released (13-Jul-2013) a statement on the “serious incident” involving the 787. The aircraft suffered an “event” while parked on stand, with no persons on board. The initial witness and physical evidence shows that this event resulted in smoke throughout the fuselage and extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage. The Chief Inspector of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has ordered an investigation into this serious incident be carried out to determine the causal and contributory factors. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Ethiopia have been invited to appoint representatives to participate in the investigation, along with advisors from the US FAA, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Ethiopian Airlines. The AAIB has also invited the participation of the European Aviation Safety Agency and the UK Civil Aviation Authority as advisors to the investigation. This team, under the direction of the AAIB, has initiated the technical investigation into the event. AAIB reported extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage, a complex part of the aircraft, and the initial investigation is likely to take several days. However, the AAIB stated it is “clear that this heat damage is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located, and, at this stage, there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship.” Boeingvia its twitter account, reported (12-Jul-2013) it has “personnel on the ground at Heathrow and are working to fully understand and address this” and it is “working to fully understand and address this". General Electric stated the fire was not related to the engines. [more - UK Air Accident Investigation] [more - US National Transportation Safety Board] [more - London Heathrow Airport] [more - London Heathrow PR 2] [more - Ethiopian Airlines]