The media frenzy over the cause of the fire of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 last Friday seems to be slowing.
The New York Times has this report from late last night that says Japan Air Lines and ANA conducted checks on their Boeing 787 fleet and found everything OK.
The NYT also has some new detail about what’s near the burned out area of the 787 and what’s not, and what else investigators are checking (some of which was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal).
Bloomberg has this report saying it doesn’t appear grounding the airplane is in the cards–and we believe it should not be. The first two battery incidents justified grounding but we don’t have the same concerns with this fire as we did with the JAL fire and the ANA near-fire.
Nothing we’ve yet read nor heard suggests anything systemic about the airplane that contributed to the fire. We still have to wait and see what investigators come up with.
Unlike the Asiana Airlines crash the previous week, there are no flight data recorders or cockpit voice recorders or witnesses to provide a near-instant conclusion. This investigation is a detective story that will take some time to reach answers.
As we know from the JAL fire, evidence is often destroyed in a fire and news reports indicate the Electronic Locator Transmitter was pretty well destroyed. The underlying question is whether the ELT was the origin of the fire or merely a victim itself that propagated the fire with its lithium battery. What other factors contributor to the fire?
It’s time to move on and let investigators do their work.
Update: via Twitter: Jon Ostrower
WSJ BREAKING: AAIB to issue interim 787 report in dys. Unclear if ELT started fire. May suggest ELT removal from 787s during probe –Source