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ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:22 pm

Hello All,

The previous thread has gotten quite large so Part 2 is being created in order to further the conversation.

Part 2 can be found here ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 2 (by moderators Jul 12 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Please remember the Airliners.net forum rules when posting. Posts found in violation of the rules will be removed.

Regards,

The Moderator Crew
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ely747
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:30 pm

Just gone over the two threads but see not much discussion going about how is ET going to replace the grounded jet. It will take some time before the 787 in question starts flying again. Not a very pleasant thing to have your jet parked on the other side of the globe. Do we know who's flying stranded pax out of LHR? Any more details on airlines' contingency planing when you loose a plane?

Would this incident make BAA redesign the Heathrow business readiness policy? We saw dozen of fire trucks merely parking by the plane in addition to London Fire brigade making their way to the scene. I can't help it but to shut down the whole of ground operation was a bit of over reaction, causing more misery to the travelling public to say the least. Yes the fire crew were attending to the smoking plane but for one there was no visible fire nor people on the plane. Secondly, it was not a real emergency scenario like seen at SFO or crash landed (BA38) 772. They should be able to handle a mid size emergency as well as keep one runway open for arrivals. Quite common with big airports so can't LHR cope?

Hope this incident will support the 3rd runway being pushed through.

[Edited 2013-07-12 16:34:42]
 
o0OOO0oChris
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:35 pm

Just out:
More trouble for 787 Dreamliner
Quote:
The scenario initially seemed identical to the fire that broke out on a Japan Airlines 787 parked at Logan this past January. That incident led to a four-month grounding of the jetliners while Boeing developed a safety fix for the batteries.

However, it later became clear the fire started at the other end of the plane from where the batteries are, in a crew rest compartment above the rear passenger doors.


Up to now there is only one member saying there's no crew rest area on the ET 787. Any other sources/links that back up the claim??
 
zotan
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:45 pm

Ethiopian has NO crew rest in that area. Other sources are confirming as well.
 
AirbusA6
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:48 pm

Leaving aside the technical and business issues here, I'm sure on result from the disastrous series of 787 stories, will be a reduction in the amount of hype and marketing BS surrounding new types. The name 'Dreamliner' now seems like a nightmare for Boeing, promising the earth and telling all the world's general media is a good way of coming very unstuck when things go wrong...
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
o0OOO0oChris
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:52 pm

Quoting zotan (Reply 3):
Ethiopian has NO crew rest in that area. Other sources are confirming as well.

Thanks for clearing up.
On second thought, as the crew rest spans along the whole upper fuselage, a fire in there would probably affect the ceiling on both sides of the plane, not just the right one as it's the case here. Whatever is up there, there must be a barrier which kept the fire spreading to the left side. So no crew rest makes sense.
 
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garpd
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:00 am

I won't lie. Sabotage was one of the things that came to mind.
That or faulty maintenance or perhaps even something as crazy as an asylum seeker from Ethiopia managing to crawl aboard, and hide somewhere and then damage a system which when the plane was powered up caused the fire.
Stranger things have happened!

I doubt this was a battery issue. There are protections in place to prevent a fire from getting out of the battery container (A vent as mentioned early on in Thread #2). Also this fire damage is quite far away from any of these "suspect" batteries with no visible clue the fire spread from the battery location.

To me it looks like a fire broke out in the crown of the fuselage.
Insulation is only fire retardant, not fire proof. With enough energy, it'll go up.

Lets look at the information we have:

Fire damage on the crown of the fuselage.
No visible damage any where near the location of the batteries.
Signs of trouble quite different from previous battery issues.
Ground crew or someone aboard the plane reported sparks emitting from the ceiling/Air conditioning.

To be considered:
Today was quite a hot day. Overheat failure of equipment perhaps?
Aforementioned sabotage or deliberate act (Do we know for sure the police are involved?)


Not much to go on, but so far none of it even hints of battery issues.
Until more information is divulged, we should really give that subject a rest.

[Edited 2013-07-12 17:02:59]
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Dano1977
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:03 am

I haven't seen it mentioned.

The reason Heathrow was closed, is that fire crews from the second base were dealing with an issue with a 777-300


Unless people are suggesting Heathrow aka baa should be able to deal with 3 emergencies at any one time?

[Edited 2013-07-12 17:04:56]
Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:04 am

Quoting ely747 (Reply 1):
I can't help it but to shut down the whole of ground operation was a bit of over reaction, causing more misery to the travelling public to say the least.

We are talking about the same airport which likes to brag about its importance as a hub yet is unable to cope with even a fairly negligible amount of snow.
 
zotan
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:17 am

No A/C unit is located in the area of the burn.
 
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Stitch
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:23 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 7):
Not much to go on, but so far none of it even hints of battery issues.

It certainly can't be the Ship's or APU batteries since they're nowhere near there. Same with the primary electrical distribution panels.

The only Li-Ion batteries in that area would be the ones used for emergency exit lighting, but those types are common on other models (A380, for example) and should be far too small.
 
PHX787
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:29 am

Why do these things happen when I am asleep? Makes it difficult for me to follow....especially on a Saturday   

My buddy at NH, who has been in training for the dreamliner for the last 3 years, just sent me a text with the word "dammit" written about 25 times.


So can someone clue me in on bullet points?

* Parked at gate?

* Looks like fire was on main deck, judging by the photo of the scorched roof (Maybe this might be a W/o)

* Thomson plane turned back to MAN for an unknown reason ?


Anything else?
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
KELPkid
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:31 am

Quoting ikramerica in the previous thread (reply #211):

Quote:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 198):
Note that police were present treating the issue as "suspicious". This could give us a clue.


They would always investigate such a thing, no?


In the US, the police becoming involved in an aircraft incident would be highly unusual, unless someone saw sabotage happening.

On US Soil, the NTSB and/or FAA would determine the cause of the fire, and if it appeared to be suspicious, would then pull in the FBI (who has jurisdiction over acts of aircraft sabotage).

Just saying how it works "over here." I'm sure things work a little different on the other side of the pond, but it does strike me as odd that law enforcement would be involved this early in the investigation...
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
speedbird217
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:41 am

Quoting awthompson:
This was an empty aircraft on a remote stand with a small fire. That should only need one tender and fire crew!!!
Nothing to stop other tenders and crews attending, but, if while attending this ETH incident, another more serious accident were to occur simultaneously (very remote probability), potentially involving loss of life, the fire crews would divert to the more serious accident, perhaps leaving one small tender to deal with the ETH fire.
There had to be something else at play here, someone has hinted that there may have been another incident that occurred during the ETH fire. Perhaps also a tender went tech, or some additional strain on the service culminated in the closure.


What a complete non-sense! Better safe than sorry.
Fire engines have limited tank capacity for foam etc. If they are involved in an incident they can't just relocate somewhere else. Imagine the fire trucks at SFO would have been deployed elsewhere with their tanks half-empty, focused on another emergency when the OZ 777 crashed. You have to have a certain percentage of the emergency fleet 100% equipped and ready at any point to ensure the safety of flight operations.

Airports are loaded with fuel and other flammable stuff everywhere. It doesn't take much and your "small fire" turns into a catastrophe.
 
ltbewr
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:42 am

This does seem to be a strange situation. It is concentrated in a small area, is hot enough to damage the outer skin, it occurred hours after the main electric systems were shut down and before they would be turned on.

If it is the A/C system what can go wrong there ? A leak of refrigerant ? A faulty/stuck on fan motor? Wiring problem with it?
 
mcdu
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:43 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 7):
Today was quite a hot day. Overheat failure of equipment perhaps?

So we have an airplane that can't be left out in the sun? Nicely done Boeing. How many other planes burned in the boiling heat at LHR today? Qatar may want to rethink their order if the sun is a grounding item.

The 787 is a punch line to a bad joke. That is until it suffers its first fatality, which I fear is coming sooner rather than later. Hate to say "I told you so" but this plane is NOT ready for revenue service.

This is from February but it is a good take on the problems with Boeing and the 787: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financ...013/02/04/130204ta_talk_surowiecki
 
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garpd
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:44 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 13):

Much the same here

The fire, if caused by on board systems is purely an AAIB matter.
However if the Police are involved then there is/was reports or suspicions or even evidence of foul play. They will continue to investigate until either they find that this was a deliberate act at which point in then becomes a criminal investigation or it was an aircraft systems related issue at which point (as no one was injured) the Police will exit the investigation.
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olliejolly
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:49 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 7):
Today was quite a hot day.

Just for clarification, according to the Met Office the temperature at LHR was around 24-25c between 1600-1700GMT when the fire apparently occurred so I highly doubt it's anything to do with that.
 
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garpd
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:57 am

Quoting OllieJolly (Reply 18):
Just for clarification, according to the Met Office the temperature at LHR was around 24-25c between 1600-1700GMT when the fire apparently occurred so I highly doubt it's anything to do with that.

Neither do I. Was just throwing out ideas. It's all we can do!

My thermometers read 30c here today (Scotland). Hot hot hot.
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747m8te
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:02 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 7):
Today was quite a hot day. Overheat failure of equipment perhaps?

Tempuratures were similar to a winters day here in Brisbane LOL...the aircraft in no way should over heat in such low temps! ...if it were to overheat anywhere it would do it in ET's ADD home LOL

Quoting pogo (Reply 6):
KL MD11 coming in today 13/07/13 operating KL1009/1010 to play catch up.

A nice substitute at least 
Quoting pogo (Reply 6):
The Dreamliner is more commonly known on the ramp as the binliner or plastic pig. The amount of times the UA has gone 'tech' at LHR is ridiculous, I for one would not want to fly on one.

Do you know what these 'tech' issues were?, if it has gone tech so many times as you say, has it been the same or similar faults? Would be interesting to know if a repeate issue has come up time and time again relating to this...either that or crew are just overly cautious with the new aircraft and makes sure everything is double checked to play it safe.
Flown on:DHC8Q200,DHC8Q300,DHC8Q400,EMB145,E170,E175,E190,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A380,MD80,B712,B733,B734,B737,B738,B743,B744,B744ER,B762,B763,B77W
 
WingedMigrator
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:06 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 7):
I won't lie. Sabotage was one of the things that came to mind.

Considering that Boeing stock can slump by 5% on any news headline containg both words "fire" and "787" the possibility should certainly be explored. Who shorted large quantities of Boeing shares recently?
 
Skydrol
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:09 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 12):
Why do these things happen when I am asleep? Makes it difficult for me to follow....especially on a Saturday

Saturday?? What do you mean? It's Friday evening!



LD4
∙ ---{--« ∙ ----{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ---{--« ∙ --{--« ∙ --{-« ∙ ----{--« ∙
 
PHX787
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:11 am

Quoting OllieJolly (Reply 18):
Just for clarification, according to the Met Office the temperature at LHR was around 24-25c between 1600-1700GMT when the fire apparently occurred so I highly doubt it's anything to do with that.

Exactly. Here in Tokyo it's around 35 (95) and there haven't been any incidents here with parked 787s involving getting too hot.

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 22):
Saturday?? What do you mean? It's Friday evening!

Do you see my flag? It's 10 AM Saturday morning here in Tokyo   
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:12 am

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 22):
Saturday?? What do you mean? It's Friday evening!



LD4

Since PHX727 is in Japan according to his/her profile, it is Saturday where he/she is located since Japan is on the west side of the International Date Line.
The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
 
artsyman
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:15 am

Personally if what I have read is true about the fire coming from the air conditioning unit, then I think it's worse than it being another battery incident. It means that now there are two active problems causing fires on 787's as opposed to just one.
 
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Stitch
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:27 am

Quoting artsyman (Reply 25):
Personally if what I have read is true about the fire coming from the air conditioning unit, then I think it's worse than it being another battery incident. It means that now there are two active problems causing fires on 787's as opposed to just one.

I expect this is not the first fire to ever happen in a commercial airplane's air conditioning unit.

Didn't a 737NG go up on the ramp in Asia due to an AC pack fire?
 
pianos101
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:29 am

Quoting artsyman (Reply 25):
Personally if what I have read is true about the fire coming from the air conditioning unit, then I think it's worse than it being another battery incident.

It's definitely not anything related to the A/C. There is no ECS equipment anywhere near the crown at those stations. Not even a duct.
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:29 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):

Quoting artsyman (Reply 25):
Personally if what I have read is true about the fire coming from the air conditioning unit, then I think it's worse than it being another battery incident. It means that now there are two active problems causing fires on 787's as opposed to just one.

I expect this is not the first fire to ever happen in a commercial airplane's air conditioning unit.

Please provide proof that there are air conditioning packs located where the fire/thermal event took place

**THIS IS RUMOR CONTROL**

How about not repeating rampant speculation seen elsewhere? Look at the diagrams posted on these threads of the a/c.
http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/commercial/airports/arff/arff787.pdf

The only thing in that area is wiring and insulation and the skin of the a/c. (Referring to the crown area fwd of the tail).

There is no crew rest module on this a/c either.
 
KirkSeattle
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:29 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 12):
So can someone clue me in on bullet points?

* Parked at gate?

* Looks like fire was on main deck, judging by the photo of the scorched roof (Maybe this might be a W/o)

* Thomson plane turned back to MAN for an unknown reason ?


Anything else?

Quoting garpd (Reply 7):
Lets look at the information we have:

Fire damage on the crown of the fuselage.
No visible damage any where near the location of the batteries.
Signs of trouble quite different from previous battery issues.
Ground crew or someone aboard the plane reported sparks emitting from the ceiling/Air conditioning.

Good Morning!

Flight arrived at LHR at approximately 6:30am on Friday and was parked at a remote stand, coincidentally near a fire station. Next flight was scheduled for 21:00. Plenty of discussion if it was in the crew rest area, but there is no crew rest area in ET's model located there. The Financial Times indicated that ET said it was an a/c issue, sparks seen. Ethiopian Airlines website acknowledges the incident but doesn't state the reason.

http://www.flyethiopian.com/en/news/pressreleases.aspx?hl=%20449

Summarized from the three threads but I left out the Dreamliner bashing, childish behavior and insanity.  
 
PHX787
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:35 am

Quoting Kirkseattle (Reply 29):
Summarized from the three threads but I left out the Dreamliner bashing, childish behavior and insanity.

My many thanks   and 1337Delta764 I'm a male  
Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 28):
The only thing in that area is wiring and insulation and the skin of the a/c. (Referring to the crown area fwd of the tail).

Ok I know we aren't supposed to speculate...but those wires could have easily been the source of the sparking, especially if they were worked on recently and not properly re-sheathed.
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:36 am

Boeing:

Time to retire the nickname Dreamliner, its going to be impossible to ignore these problems for the general public (that never cares about numbers but remembers well a nickname). It´s PR 101.

Seriously.

TRB
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
hivue
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:42 am

Quoting Kirkseattle (Reply 29):
Flight arrived at LHR at approximately 6:30am on Friday and was parked at a remote stand, coincidentally near a fire station. Next flight was scheduled for 21:00.

And the fire was first detected about 16:00 or 17:00 GMT? The plane was at a remote stand and, presumably, unpowered (except for the hot battery buses). I wonder if this got started a lot earlier and smoldered for several hours before breaking out?
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
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Stitch
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:48 am

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 28):
Please provide proof that there are air conditioning packs located where the fire/thermal event took place...

As I understand it, Ethiopian Airlines themselves were the source of the claims there was an issue with the air conditioning system and that it occurred in that area.

[Edited 2013-07-12 18:56:27]
 
KirkSeattle
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:27 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 34):
As I understand it, Ethiopian Airlines themselves were the source of the claims there was an issue with the air conditioning system and that it occurred in that area.

Someone quoted the Financial Times, however, I'm having internet trouble accessing the site.

Stitch - can you see the article and what it says? It's the second article under the image of the dog that chewed up a chair. http://www.ft.com/home/uk

Regards,
KirkSeattle
 
4tet
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:28 am

Burning carbon fibre is no joke, if the 'black' parts are really holes in the fuselage (wich IMHO seem the are) it means probably that the temperature should have been more than 2000ºC to say a minimum...

Check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w608hwWqRQI

This can only be provoked with a special flamethrower or maybe an electric arc...

R.
 
Pyrex
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 9):
We are talking about the same airport which likes to brag about its importance as a hub yet is unable to cope with even a fairly negligible amount of snow.

Man, you want to complain? In New York they see a cloud on the horizon and cancel half the flights. It is genuinely the only place in the world I have seen lose its shit with a little rain.

Quoting garpd (Reply 19):
My thermometers read 30c here today (Scotland). Hot hot hot.

I am sure it gets a lot hotter in Adis Abebba...
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
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a36001
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:32 am

Too the people complaining that they think it is ridiculous LHR closed down during this event. I very much hope you are not in a position to require airport emergency services, only to be sitting on or be the owner of a plane with a questionable safety event only to see half of the emergency services leave to attend another emergency! Think about it! and the potential disaster this could bring about.  
 
flood
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:32 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 34):
As I understand it, Ethiopian Airlines themselves were the source of the claims there was an issue with the air conditioning system and that it occurred in that area.

Are there any overhead airconditioning vents in the area? They may not have been referring to the air conditioning's electrical system... how about a fire originating in a remote power distribution unit and burning through an adjacent duct with sparks exiting an airconditioning vent? Just throwing it out there...
 
matt
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:40 am

Just read this in a comment posted on avherald.com

"The aircraft fire is unrelated to the batteries. This will be confirmed tomorrow in a boeing press conference. Fire is strongly believed to be as a result of galley overheat - failure of coffee heater trip switch which was left on.Burnt out much of the galley and area above causing deep damage to aft bh and rudder/elevator system. Aircraft sadly a write off - unless pride of hull loss/p.r dictates repair even if economically un-viable."

Link: http://avherald.com/h?article=45c377c5&opt=0 (see comment from ba ground eng)

Matt
Next flights: YQM-YOW-YOW / YQM-YYZ-CPH-YYZ-YQM / YQM-YUL-LYS-BRU-YUL-YQM / YQM-PUJ-YQM
 
hivue
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:46 am

Quoting matt (Reply 41):
failure of coffee heater trip switch which was left on

How does a coffee machine write off an airliner that's powered off?
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
jreuschl
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:46 am

Another poster on the Thompson incident thread on avherald.com said similar:

"The fire was reported to have been in the galley. Apparentley somebody left a water heater to boil dry, thermal cut out failed. NOT CONFIRMED"
 
mcogator
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:48 am

Quoting matt (Reply 41):

"The aircraft fire is unrelated to the batteries. This will be confirmed tomorrow in a boeing press conference. Fire is strongly believed to be as a result of galley overheat - failure of coffee heater trip switch which was left on.Burnt out much of the galley and area above causing deep damage to aft bh and rudder/elevator system. Aircraft sadly a write off - unless pride of hull loss/p.r dictates repair even if economically un-viable."

Well I hope he/she is right about how the fire started! It would be a damn shame if the plane is written off though.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
 
flood
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:00 am

Quoting hivue (Reply 42):
How does a coffee machine write off an airliner that's powered off?

Has it been confirmed the aircraft was powered off? Not sure when it was scheduled to depart, but I recall Boeing advising airlines to power up the planes a couple of hours beforehand.
 
hivue
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:18 am

Quoting flood (Reply 45):
Not sure when it was scheduled to depart,

21:00 local, I think. That could explain it. During the 787 battery threads I remember seeing several references to coffee makers being potential causes of fires.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
hivue
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:22 am

Quoting matt (Reply 41):
unless pride of hull loss/p.r dictates repair even if economically un-viable."

Well QA did that with their Singapore A380.
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:23 am

Well, a galley fire seems most likely at this point.

Boiling something dray and it catching fire has happened before. More than one firehouse has gone up because the crew went on a call and left the stove on. That is why they build firehouses withcutoff switches that kill the stove when the alarm goes off.
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:30 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 7):

I won't lie. Sabotage was one of the things that came to mind.
That or faulty maintenance or perhaps even something as crazy as an asylum seeker from Ethiopia managing to crawl aboard, and hide somewhere and then damage a system which when the plane was powered up caused the fire.
Stranger things have happened!

1) If you're going to sabotage the plane, that's an awfully odd and difficult place to do it. You'd have to climb into the crown, set your trap, and then get out all without being seen. There are much more accessible areas that can cause far worse damage (like the flight deck).

2) The aircraft was sitting idle, not powered up, all report have said.

3) What could anyone have to gain from sabotaging this aircraft? If it were El-Al, then maybe I could see your point. But why ET?

Quoting 4tet (Reply 37):
Burning carbon fibre is no joke, if the 'black' parts are really holes in the fuselage (wich IMHO seem the are) it means probably that the temperature should have been more than 2000ºC to say a minimum...

That is why I doubt they are holes. If the fire got that hot, we wouldn't see intact paint overlying the stringers. More likely, the CFRP charred and the paint blackened. In the area over the stringers, the paint remains intact. That suggests that the stringers insulated the paint from the temperatures. My guess is that the CFRP is intact (albeit not structurally sound or pressurizable).

Quoting matt (Reply 41):
"The aircraft fire is unrelated to the batteries. This will be confirmed tomorrow in a boeing press conference. Fire is strongly believed to be as a result of galley overheat - failure of coffee heater trip switch which was left on.Burnt out much of the galley and area above causing deep damage to aft bh and rudder/elevator system. Aircraft sadly a write off - unless pride of hull loss/p.r dictates repair even if economically un-viable."

If a coffee heater trip switch can do that to an airframe, I have some serious doubts about the design of that aircraft's electrical systems with respect to the coffee maker. No coffee maker should ever be able to do that. Imagine if someone left that switch were accidentally left on in flight.

As for the airframe being a w/o, it's a brand-new airframe. Not only that, but there are only 50 odd examples in service. It would still be less expensive to replace the entire tail than to build an entire new 788.

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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:33 am

Quoting matt (Reply 41):
(see comment from ba ground eng)

This input is suspicious.. no Boeing engineer (field service) would put his job on the line this way and when I don't recall them ever being "ground engineers"

Oh well lets see what tomorrow brings.
 
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:37 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 51):
no Boeing engineer (field service)

BA in this case would be British Airways.
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RE: ET 787 On Fire At Heathrow Part 3

Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:48 am

Quoting matt (Reply 41):
"The aircraft fire is unrelated to the batteries. This will be confirmed tomorrow in a boeing press conference. Fire is strongly believed to be as a result of galley overheat - failure of coffee heater trip switch which was left on.Burnt out much of the galley and area above causing deep damage to aft bh and rudder/elevator system. Aircraft sadly a write off - unless pride of hull loss/p.r dictates repair even if economically un-viable."

Really hoping this turns out to be true - if so, it might dictate taking another look at galley equipment fuses and overheat trips, but should not indicate another systemic flaw in the aircraft.

I've been wondering all afternoon if ET and/or Boeing will resort to unusual or even heroic measures to put this airframe back into service and avoid such an early hull loss. After Qantas Flight 1 overran at Bangkok in 1999 (747-400 VH-OJH), rumor has it that the insurer declared a write-off, but QF opted to pay quite a lot more out-of-pocket to have the aircraft fixed and avoid a hull loss on its record.

National Geographic also ran a show on a Boeing AOG team that replaced the rear pressure bulkhead and most of the lower half of a 767's tail cone after a bad tail strike at CDG. It took several weeks, including removing and then reattaching the horizontal and vertical tails.

The 787's spun barrel construction alone would have to make this repair more difficult, since I doubt you could replace large sections of a barrel piecemeal. A fix might require a whole new Section 47/48 from Charleston, which I suppose could be delivered to LHR via 744LCF, but then you're looking at a total rebuild of the rear fuselage and empennage in the field, with none of the tooling Everett and Charleston have to do the job in the factory.

I'm sure it could be done with enough time and money, but whether the reputational benefit is worth the cost to Boeing and ET, what ET's insurer will pay for, and what liability the manufacturer of the coffee pot trip switch has, I guess we'll see.

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[Edited 2013-07-12 20:52:00]
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