Canada orders airline emergency-beacon checks

SEATTLE — Canada’s aviation regulator Thursday directed airlines to inspect for wiring discrepancies in the Honeywell emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) in most Airbus and Boeing jets as well as other aircraft made by ATR, Dassault and Lockheed Martin.

The ongoing investigation into the fire aboard a Boeing 787 operated by Ethiopian Airlines at Heathrow airport in London on July 12 determined that the fire was centered in the area of the ELT, an off-the-shelf device that transmits location data in the event of a crash.

The investigation into that fire revealed pinched wiring around the device’s lithium battery that could have resulted in an electrical short. Follow-on inspections of in-serivce airplanes found other ELTs with similar wiring issues.

The airworthiness directive by Transport Canada gives airlines 150 days to do a one-time inspection and rectify any wiring issues.

The subcontractor that manufactured the ELTs for Honeywell is Instrumar, of St. John’s, Newfoundland. For all planes except the 787, Honeywell distributes the ELTs from a center in Ontario, Canada.

The directives cover all Boeing and McDonnell Douglas jets, most Airbus jets, some ATR turboprops, the Dassault Falcon 7X business jet and the Lockheed Martin’s L-382, a civilian model of its military transport.

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