FAA Orders Inspections of Honeywell Emergency Locator Transmitters
The FAA is issuing an Airworthiness Directive (AD) identical to the August 26 Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) directive which requires airlines to inspect Honeywell emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) by January 14, 2014 to prevent an electrical short and possible ignition source. The FAA AD has the same deadline for the U.S. fleet and will impact approximately 4,000 airplanes at a total cost of approximately $325,720. The investigation of the July 12, 2013 Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 fire at Heathrow Airport continues under the leadership of the United Kingdom Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).
Good for Transport Canada Civil Aviation beating us to the punch. Too bad that the deadline is January 14, 2014. Seems like they could behave with a bit more urgency with a potential fire hazard. Does this mean that–if one of these Honeywell emergency locator transmitters happens to cause a fire between now and January 14, 2014, the TCCA and the FAA are responsible? By setting a date months away, aren’t these agencies downplaying the hazard potential?