Honeywell Supplier’s 787-Beacon Plant to Get Canada InspectionJulie Johnsson and Thomas Black
A Honeywell International Inc. subcontractor that makes aircraft emergency beacons will be inspected next week by Canadian regulators crafting a safety directive for the device linked to a fire on a Boeing Co. 787.
The visit to the Instrumar Ltd. plant in St. John’s, Newfoundland, follows a check this week at a Honeywell facility in Ontario, Transport Canada said yesterday in a statement. The agency said it’s developing an airworthiness directive for the Honeywell beacon because it’s designed and made in Canada.
Transport Canada widens the probe into the July 12 fire on a parked 787 Dreamliner in London. The U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch, with assistance from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, is investigating whether wiring crushed under an emergency beacon’s battery cover triggered a short circuit that incinerated the Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise 787, a person familiar with the proceedings said.
“The Airworthiness Directive would be based on the information collected from the equipment inspections mandated by the FAA, information already provided by Honeywell, and the results of TC’s inspections of Honeywell and Instrumar,” Transport Canada said in the statement.
No details were provided about the inspection at Honeywell’s factory in Mississauga, Ontario, nor did the agency say when or how the Instrumar plant would be checked.
Instrumar has been manufacturing emergency locator transmitters in partnership with Honeywell since 2004 and referred questions on the product to Honeywell, the company said yesterday in an e-mailed comment.
“It’s a simple request from Transport Canada to come in and visit our facility,” said Steve Brecken, a spokesman for Morris Township, New Jersey-based Honeywell. “We certainly welcome that.” He declined to comment on the inspection of the Instrumar factory, referring questions to Instrumar.
Boeing, based in Chicago, urged airlines in a July 29 service bulletin to check 717, 737 Next Generation, 747-400, 767 and 777 aircraft equipped with Honeywell’s fixed emergency locator transmitters after two 787 Dreamliner operators discovered wiring issues in the devices.
U.S. and European regulators last month ordered 787 operators to inspect the beacons, though they stopped short of British investigators’ recommendation that the devices be dismantled and the inspections widened to about 6,000 aircraft worldwide.