Oven on Boeing 787 Overheats During Air India Flight

Air India Ltd., the nation’s only operator of Boeing Co.’s 787, said an oven for warming food on a Dreamliner overheated during a domestic flight, prompting the crew to take measures to contain smoke.

The oven’s overheating on the flight from New Delhi to the eastern city of Kolkata on July 24 didn’t cause a fire, Air India spokesman G. Prasada Rao said by telephone today. The flight was not diverted because of the incident and the aircraft continues to be in service, he said.

The latest incident involving a 787 comes amid U.S. aviation regulators ordering inspections of emergency beacons that were linked to a July 12 fire on a Dreamliner parked at London’s Heathrow Airport. Air India, which has taken delivery of seven of the jets, has begun removing the emergency locator transmitters as a precautionary measure, according to an India civil aviation ministry official.

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation is looking into what may have caused the oven’s overheating, Arun Mishra, who heads the regulator, said in a mobile phone text message. He didn’t elaborate.

The Federal Aviation Administration yesterday issued an order that United Continental Holdings Inc., the only U.S. airline flying the Dreamliner, must complete the inspections of emergency locator transmitters by Aug. 5. The blaze that broke out on an Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise 787 parked at Heathrow was traced to a Honeywell International Inc. transmitter powered by a lithium battery.

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Bhawna Singh, Boeing’s external spokeswoman in India, didn’t immediately respond to a call and an e-mail seeking comments on the Air India incident. The Mumbai-based carrier, which has 20 more 787s on order, is adding new destinations including Sydney and Melbourne using the Dreamliners.

In January, the global fleet of 787s was grounded because of overheating of lithium-ion batteries on two of the aircraft. The FAA cleared the jet to fly again after Boeing redesigned the battery to include more protection around individual cells to contain any overheating, a steel case to prevent fire and a tube to vent any vapors outside the fuselage.

The incident on the Air India Dreamliner was earlier reported by Mint newspaper.

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