Boeing (Chicago) is currently repairing the damaged Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) at London’s Heathrow Airport. As previously report, the new airliner was damaged by fire on July 12, 2013.
According to this report by The Seattle Times, Boeing’s repair team is gluing a giant composite plastic skin patch inside a temporary building surrounding the rear section of the aircraft. The tail has been removed.
Boeing builds the fuselage as a single piece so this repair is very delicate and intricate for this new technology. The repairs should take five weeks.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has classified the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) fire at London Heathrow Airport on Friday (July 12) as a “serious incident”. The important statement in the message below is the statement at the end is the heat damage in upper rear fuselage “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”.
Ethiopian Airlines‘ (Addis Ababa) Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) parked at a remote stand (parking spot) at London (Heathrow) was involved in an unspecified on-board fire this afternoon. No passengers were on board the aircraft.
The 787 was grounded in January after several on-board fires involving the battery system. The NTSB was never able to determine the cause of the battery fires. Boeing re-designed a battery containment package system that was approved and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the aircraft returned to the skies in April. It is undetermined if this reported fire involves the battery system.
Airport operations at LHR was suspended briefly due to the fire. Fire equipment were seen surrounding the aircraft at the stand. Fire crews were inspecting the rear cargo compartment (see second video).
According to a Reuters photo, there appears to be a damaged area in the top rear roof area ahead of the tail.
Ethiopian Airlines issued this statement:
Today, Friday, July 12, 2013, smoke was detected from Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 aircraft with the registration number ET-AOP, which was parked at London Heathrow Airport for more than eight hours.
The aircraft was empty when the incident was observed.
The cause of the incident is under investigation by all concerned.
Further statements will be issued in due course, as we receive more information.
The aircraft has been moved to a hangar and an investigation has started. All airlines continue to operate the aircraft although a Thomson Airways 787 had to return due to a technical problem. Read the full report from the Financial Times: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. ET-AOP in action at Toronto (Pearson) before today’s incident.