An Ethiopian Boeing 787 has caught fire, closing down air traffic at London’s Heathrow Airport and putting Boeing back in the spotlight.
At the beginning of the year, there was a lot of news surrounding the Boeing 787 Dreamliner; a new environmentally friendly jetliner. The Li-Ion batteries on board were catching fire and as a result, the entire fleet was grounded, a massive investigation took place, and a redesign of the batteries was engineered before the Dreamliners were allowed back in the skies. Now, just a few months later, it’s happening again.
As of the writing of this article, the BBC has reported that all air traffic at London’s Heathrow International Airport is suspended, due to an Ethiopia Airlines 787 catching fire on the tarmac (this is a standard procedure for such incidents at the airport). Luckily, the plane was reportedly empty and parked in a remote parking zone. There have been no injuries as a result. The plane, named “Queen of Sheeba”, is apparently also the first 787 to fly after the grounding.
There was apparently no structural damage to the plane
Boeing is aware of the fire and have personnel on scene, as they explained in a tweet: “We’re aware of the 787 event @HeathrowAirport and have Boeing personnel there. We’re working to fully understand and address this.” While nobody yet can say if batteries are the culprit this time as well, especially since the plane was parked, it’s still fairly likely. A spokesperson from Heathrow said: “We can confirm there has been an on-board internal fire involving an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft and the airport’s emergency services are in attendance.”
I bet Boeing executives are sweating like a hooker in church right about now. The Dreamliner is becoming a lot more trouble than it’s worth.