dougbr2006
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B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:29 am

I searched the forums and could not find mention of this!

Apparently the EASA are to mandate removal of 787 emergency locator transmitters following the AAIB recommendation last week.

This brings up the question, how can they allow the B787 to fly less its ELT especially over long legs over water. Being that its part of the MEL.

According to the head of EASA Dominique Fouda has stated that an AD is going to be issued.

“We are drafting an airworthiness directive that will require the ELT removal on the Boeing 787. This AD will be applicable in our area of responsibility, i.e. European airlines operating this aircraft,”

and he reiterated “Being made inert can also mean remove, but we are definitely talking about removal.”

He also stated "Under European rules, an aircraft type can be certified without an ELT, although it forms part of the required minimum equipment list for flight operations. "To operate the aircraft you need the ELT,” Fouda said. However, he added that the ELT can be “temporarily inoperative under certain conditions” for a limited number of flight cycles. He was unable to immediately specify this figure, but said that this rule also allows for temporary removal of the ELT".

What do you all think, are the rules going to be bent too much and effect flight safety!

I personally would not feel comfortable flying on an aircraft that doesn't have all it's safety MEL working for a extended period of time.

"Quotes are taken from ATW online"
 
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seahawk
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:34 am

Hmm, interesting. I wonder why the AD is limited to the 787 and not valid for all planes that use a Honeywell ELT of the same type.
 
777Boeing777
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:36 am

Quoting dougbr2006 (Thread starter):
This brings up the question, how can they allow the B787 to fly less its ELT especially over long legs over water. Being that its part of the MEL.

I am not an expert on this matter, but my understanding is that it is a customer option. It's a good question, but I may be wrong, but this same question has been raised in other threads, too.
 
767eng
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:00 pm

They'll install a portable ELT in its place for the time being.
 
AAMDanny
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:27 pm

Was this a fixed ELT? (as in fixed to the airframe?) all the large aircraft I have ever worked on have had 2 portable ELT's for use by the cabin crew, I tired searching for the exact ones I have had onboard in the past as part of the aircrafts portable emergancy equipment. They vary in size but they look something like this...

http://www.riverbills.com/pic_of_the...3T-001-Locating%20Devices_0064.JPG

They are operated by the crew
 
TFJamie
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:33 pm

Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 4):

Was this a fixed ELT? (as in fixed to the airframe?) all the large aircraft I have ever worked on have had 2 portable ELT's for use by the cabin crew, I tired searching for the exact ones I have had onboard in the past as part of the aircrafts portable emergancy equipment. They vary in size but they look something like this...

A fixed ELT is pretty much exactly that, it's fixed to the airframe and wired through to the cockpit with a control panel there. There's also a fixed antenna. The aircraft types I know have the MEL in such a way that it's optional but I know some authorities (Bermuda, for instance) that mandate it.
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:46 pm

This ELT is in over 6,000 aircraft, why just the AD for the 787?
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wjcandee
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:53 pm

Okay...first, there has been no definitive reporting as to whether/how the ELT for the 717 is a different model, even if similar to previous models.

Second, ELTs have been helpful in finding business and private aircraft. They are largely-unnecessary to find transport-category aircraft because lat/long information is regularly transmitted by the nav equipment on those aircraft and collected and retained by the airlines, and when they go missing people know they are missing. In short, the ELT is basically-redundant on transport-category aircraft and, frankly, unnecessary.

With regard to the question of whether it's a fixed ELT, well...yeah. That's sort of the point. It is mounted in a not-easily-accessed place right under the crown. Didn't you read (actually you are lucky you didn't) all the speculation about how the wires connecting it to the cockpit for monitoring purposes must have somehow sent gremlins from the "electrical system" into it and made it catch fire? (rolleyes, yawn). Now rejected by AAIB.

[Edited 2013-07-22 06:57:33]
 
brilondon
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:57 pm

Quoting dougbr2006 (Thread starter):
This brings up the question, how can they allow the B787 to fly less its ELT especially over long legs over water. Being that its part of the MEL.

Are there not redundant systems for this on board aircraft? I would think that they would use an alternate method for crossing the ocean if they don't.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
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seahawk
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:57 pm

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 6):
This ELT is in over 6,000 aircraft, why just the AD for the 787?

And why remove and not just remove the batteries?
 
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bikerthai
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:01 pm

Quoting dougbr2006 (Thread starter):

This brings up the question, how can they allow the B787 to fly less its ELT especially over long legs over water.

This part is easy to answer. As per the other thread, the fixed ELT are not meant to operate over (in this case under) large body of water. The ELT is meant to help searcher locate the aircraft. When in a water landing , the fixed ELT will most likely sink with the aircraft long before the search teams arrives on the scene.

In water landing, the more useful ELT are the portable ones which can be carried onto a life raft.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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zeke
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:20 pm

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 6):
This ELT is in over 6,000 aircraft, why just the AD for the 787?

I find it hard to believe that thee model installed om the 787 is installed on 6000 aircraft at the moment, that maybe the install base of of all Honeywell fixed ELTs.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 10):
When in a water landing , the fixed ELT will most likely sink with the aircraft long before the search teams arrives on the scene.

The fixed ELT may not be useful for homing, it will however send the flight number, aircraft ID and GPS position in its first burst. This is sent direct to the sat.
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mcdu
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:59 pm

I think this is part of the fallacy of "customer option" debate on the ELT. Many countries require a fixed ELT. the big question would be how many operators did not opt to install the ELT? To have an airplane that was proposed to be 330 minute ETOPS have the issues this plane has had may very well keep the 180 limit. Removing the ELT may further impact the ability to fly this plane on the mission it has been pitched by Boeing. Some of those circles on theBoeing globe touting this planes capabilities keep getting smaller. No 330 or 207 ETOPS cert and no ELT could further restrict the AOA of the 787
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:06 pm

Quoting dougbr2006 (Thread starter):
I searched the forums and could not find mention of this!



Other forums have provided the answer but it would take a while to find:

FAA -- "0" required for dispatch for up to 90 days.

CAA -- Up to 6 flights (?)
 
Klaus
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:20 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 7):
Didn't you read (actually you are lucky you didn't) all the speculation about how the wires connecting it to the cockpit for monitoring purposes must have somehow sent gremlins from the "electrical system" into it and made it catch fire? (rolleyes, yawn).

You apparently didn't read any of that properly, since your account is completely distorted.

Damage to the ELT through the control lines has never been discussed as anything but a remote possibility, never as a certainty.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 7):
Now rejected by AAIB.

Not in their preliminary statement. Their statement also doesn't exactly say what you seem to think it did.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:01 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 11):
it will however send the flight number, aircraft ID and GPS position in its first burst. This is sent direct to the sat.

Didn't want to ask this question in the other thread but . . . what is the trigger mechanism for the ELT to transmit? Internal sensors? External signal from the cockpit?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Klaus
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 15):
Didn't want to ask this question in the other thread but . . . what is the trigger mechanism for the ELT to transmit? Internal sensors? External signal from the cockpit?

According to the brochure, the cockpit control switch can select the ON position to activate it manually, but in STANDBY position the ELT will automatically activate when an internal G-Switch indicates an impact.
 
airtechy
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:32 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 11):

The fixed ELT may not be useful for homing, it will however send the flight number, aircraft ID and GPS position in its first burst. This is sent direct to the sat.

How does it get this information? The unit has no power until activated and the control wires only turn it on manually.  

AT
 
mcdu
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:32 pm

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 13):
Other forums have provided the answer but it would take a while to find:

FAA -- "0" required for dispatch for up to 90 days.

CAA -- Up to 6 flights (?)

Looking at our own MEL that is approved for airline specific operations it would appear the ELT may be deferred but not for all AOA's.

The generic MEL found on the internet doesn't always match the users MEL with restrictions required for ETOP's.....The places this plane was designed to fly.
 
Klaus
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:36 pm

Quoting airtechy (Reply 17):
The unit has no power until activated and the control wires only turn it on manually.

The ELT is permanently powered by its internal battery. And it activates either by manual cockpit switch or by its internal g-switch.
 
airtechy
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:40 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
The ELT is permanently powered by its internal battery. And it activates either by manual cockpit switch or by its internal g-switch.

I fully understand that...had one in my plane. Read my post. How does it get the aircraft ID and flight number? It could get the position after a crash with an internal GPS,

AT
 
LTC8K6
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:51 pm

Quoting airtechy (Reply 20):

It is pre-programmed with info when it is installed. It would not normally have the flight number.

If it is moved, it can be re-programmed with the new ID info.

The GPS position info is apparently optional.

The normal method of location is by triangulation via the satellites.

http://www51.honeywell.com/aero/comm...es-documents/RESCU_406_AFN_ELT.pdf
 
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Stitch
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:54 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 1):
I wonder why the AD is limited to the 787 and not valid for all planes that use a Honeywell ELT of the same type.

The AAIB recommendations included the disabling of the ELT on the 787 and to "conduct a safety review of installations of lithium-powered ELTs in other aircraft types and, where appropriate, initiate airworthiness action".

So it's not beyond the realm of possibility there could be future ADs issued for lithium-powered ELTs on other aircraft families.
 
B777fan
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:12 pm

In the US, no ELT is required at all under FAR 91.207 per this.

(f) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to--
[ (1) Before January 1, 2004, turbojet-powered aircraft; ]
(2) Aircraft while engaged in scheduled flights by scheduled air carriers;
...
...
[(11) On and after January 1, 2004, aircraft with a maximum payload capacity of more than 18,000 pounds when used in air transportation.]

For over water flights, it is the pingers in the black boxes that are used to locate the aircraft wreckage. The ELT's are used to locate aircraft down on land. Portable ELT's are used over water in life rafts for location.

[Edited 2013-07-22 11:16:04]
 
mcdu
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:26 pm

From the FAA website:

http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...tions/ifim/intl_overview/#equip406 MHz Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
Due to changes in monitoring emergency frequencies, and for search and rescue (SAR) requirements, ICAO has stipulated that aircraft must have a 406 MHz ELT to fly internationally. Some countries, such as the U.S., Canada, The Bahamas, and many Caribbean nations, have not yet adopted this requirement for aircraft.
The 406 MHz ELT must be registered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and re-registered every two years.
An emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) does not meet the ICAO requirement, but it is a valuable addition to have on board.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:39 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
but in STANDBY position the ELT will automatically activate when an internal G-Switch indicates an impact.

Now the tech weenie in me wants to know. What G-force would trigger the switch? The ones in the FAR for crash condition? or some lower value?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
LTC8K6
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:51 pm

AIM and NAIM are both optional. So it may have neither and just broadcast a basic signal that is located through triangulation.

The RESCU 406®
AFN can also simplify fleet management
through an optional Aircraft Identification
Module (AIM) that automatically
reprograms the transmitter unit, making
it easy to move the ELT from one aircraft
to another.
An optional Navigation Aircraft Interface
Module (NAIM) can perform the same
functions as the AIM plus allow the transmission
of latitude/longitude information
in the 406 MHz signal from the aircraft
navigation system to speed up finding
the aircraft in the event the system is
activated

How the System is Designed to Work
1. RESCU 406 AFN distress signal transmitted
2. Satellites receive and interpret signal
– Aircraft position is identified through triangulation
– Optional NAIM provides GPS position
3. Satellites transmit to earth bound terminal. Ground terminal
receives data and identifies aircraft with approximate position or
GPS-provided position
4. Rescue initiated with Rescue Coordination Centers (RCC)
– Rescue resources sent to the scene
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:38 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 25):
Now the tech weenie in me wants to know. What G-force would trigger the switch? The ones in the FAR for crash condition? or some lower value?

I am not exactly sure what the certified tolerance is, but I have seen some hard landings set them off a few times without actually crashing.
Pilots are idots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
s5daw
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:03 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 7):
They are largely-unnecessary to find transport-category aircraft because lat/long information is regularly transmitted by the nav equipment on those aircraft and collected and retained by the airlines, and when they go missing people know they are missing. In short, the ELT is basically-redundant on transport-category aircraft and, frankly, unnecessary.

OT, but why do only cargo planes use that??
 
airtechy
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:21 pm

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 27):

I am not exactly sure what the certified tolerance is, but I have seen some hard landings set them off a few times without actually crashing.

It would be interesting to know if the ELT on the OZ 777 activated. Assuming it was mounted where the one on the 787 is, it sure took a whack when the tail hit the sea wall.  Wow!

Maybe it only activates with a shock in the longitudinal axis.  

AT
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:39 pm

I an certain it activated upon impact, however since it could not be heard in background of the ATC recording I assume that the 406mhz versions do nor broadcast a tone on the guard frequencies any more.
Pilots are idots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
MrBuzzcut
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 27):
I am not exactly sure what the certified tolerance is, but I have seen some hard landings set them off a few times without actually crashing.

When I was working at AWK we had a flight of F-18s come in to RON before continuing on their TRANSPAC. One of them landed a bit hard and set of the ELT somehow, prompting a call from Oakland to AWK ops about a possibly crashed F-18 near the island. We found it, parked on the ramp with a pilot climbing out  

Makes me think they must turn 'em off for carrier landings, because a hard landing on a runway has to be nothing compared to a landing on a carrier deck.
 
aerowrench
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:39 pm

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 30):
I an certain it activated upon impact, however since it could not be heard in background of the ATC recording I assume that the 406mhz versions do nor broadcast a tone on the guard frequencies any more.

The frequency the ELT is activated on is 121.5 which means that it will not be heard on other freqs. Asiana 214 ELT did activate and was mentioned in one of the NTSB briefings as being deactivated.

To answer the question presented in the thread subject, the answer is yes the airplane can fly without an operational ELT; figuratively and literally.

For all you aviation geeks out there, I would suggest some fine literature to learn yourselves up on aircraft so that there will be less in the way of speculation. The differences between a 406 PLB and an ELT are more than just frequency related and if you don't know this then ask. This site is becoming far less desirable for information with the constant onslaught of over-sensationalization based on ignorant statements. The thread title that includes "Can They Still Fly!" is way over the top. I think it could you some revision to reel in some of the ridiculous speculation that comes with it.

BTW, on a certain type in our fleet, we can disable an ELT for 120 days or we can remove it for 90 days. And...the airplane can actually keep flying!!!
 
T prop
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:40 am

When was the last time an ELT signal was used to locate a crashed airliner?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: B787 ELT Disable / Removal. Can They Still Fly!

Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:44 am

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 15):
what is the trigger mechanism for the ELT to transmit? Internal sensors? External signal from the cockpit?

ELT will typically trigger on impact or if a switch in the cockpit is operated.

Quoting aerowrench (Reply 32):
he frequency the ELT is activated on is 121.5 which means that it will not be heard on other freqs.

Modern ELTs also transmit on 406MHz in order to reach satellites.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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