ANA finds damage to wiring on ELTs removed from 787s

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All Nippon Airways (ANA) has found damage to the wiring on two electronic locator transmitters (ELTs) which were removed from its Boeing 787-8s for checks, following a fire incident on board an Ethiopian Airlines 787 earlier this month.

The Honeywell Rescu406 ELTs had signs of "slight damage" to the insulation on some of the devices' wiring, a spokesman for the Star Alliance carrier told Flightglobal Pro.

The airline has notified the Japan civil aviation bureau (JCAB) of the defects, and it is also shipping the ELTs to the manufacturer for further inspection.

The spokesman adds that at this point that there is "no kind of connection" between the damage it discovered and the Ethiopian incident, which occurred on 12 July when the aircraft was parked.

The ELTs in question were fitted to two 787s used by ANA on domestic services. The carrier has removed ELTs from the eight domestically configured 787s with the JCAB's permission.

On the 787s which are used on international routes, the airline has removed ELTs to conduct thorough inspections before refitting them to the aircraft.

The Honeywell ELT is being investigated as a possible cause of the fire on the Ethiopian aircraft by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch. The US Federal Aviation Administration has also signalled that it will soon issue an airworthiness directive for US 787 operators to inspect and in some cases, remove the Honeywell ELTs on those aircraft.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database shows that ANA operates a fleet of 20 787-8s with a further 16 on order. It also has a further 40 787-9s on order.