boeing_heathrowfire_ap980.jpg
The investigation found the wires connecting the battery to the transmitter were trapped and pinched by the cover by an improper installation, and that likely caused a short-circuit that sparked the fire. (AP Photo/File)

Pinched wires, human error potential cause of Heathrow Boeing 787 fire

Crossed or crushed wires are now the leading cause of that fire in an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 two weeks ago.

It's looking like human error, and not a design flaw, is being considered as the reason why the Emergency Locator Transmitter caught fire and burned the 787 as it sat at the terminal at Heathrow Airport in London.

The Seattle Times reports the investigation has found that the wires connecting the battery to the transmitter were trapped and pinched by the cover by an improper installation, and that likely caused a short-circuit that sparked the fire.

The FAA will put out a directive on Friday requiring 787 carriers to inspect the ELT's for pinched wires.

This potentially puts the blame for the fire on the ELT manufacturer, Honeywell, which might have replaced the batteries on the device before delivery.


Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio Reporter
Chris loves the rush of covering breaking news and works hard to try to make sense of it all while telling stories about real people in extraordinary circumstances.
Top Stories

  • Seattle's Historic Eyesore
    In the heart of Seattle, an historic landmark is being called a blight on the city

  • Back In Boom
    Seahawks' defense returns to its dominant form against Arizona

  • Pass the Potatoes
    Seattle Kitchen takes 5 Thanksgiving dishes from ordinary to extraordinary
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.