The UK's Aviation regulator has found that Honeywell's emergency locator beacon was responsible for the fire in the Ethiopian Airlines 787 at Heathrow last week. The AAIB is calling for the disabling of the ELT from all 787s and a review of the use of lithium ELTs on all other plane models. While this might, at first, seem like a negative for the stock price of Honeywell (and indeed was), given the surreality in which we live, it did not take long for the price of HON shares to not only rebound but to rally above where they were when the news hit. What could possibly go wrong?
Aviation regulators should conduct a safety review of lithium-powered emergency locator beacons in all aircraft types, said a British report into a fire on a Boeing Dreamliner jet in London.
The report, published on Thursday, said the fire occurred in the upper portion of the rear fuselage where the Dreamliner's emergency locator transmitter (ELT) device, made by U.S. firm Honeywell, is located.
The AAIB also recommended that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ensure the power is turned off in all Honeywell-made ELT systems in Boeing Dreamliners. A source close to the probe said this could mean removing the ELT's batteries.
"Detailed examination of the ELT has shown some indications of disruption to the battery cells. It is not clear however, whether the combustion in the area of the ELT was initiated by a release of energy within the batteries or by an external mechanism such as an electrical short," AAIB said in the report, known as a special bulletin said.
"In the case of an electrical short, the same batteries could provide the energy for an ignition and suffer damage in the subsequent fire."