Traffic has been suspended at London’s Heathrow aiport due to a fire on an empty aeroplane. According to Flight International Editor Damid Kaminski-Morrow, the jet is a Boeing Dreamliner 787.
Due to an incident on an aircraft, arrivals and departures are currently suspended. @metpoliceuk advise that no passengers are on board.
— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) July 12, 2013
The jet was parked “at a remote stand away from the terminals,” according to the airport’s Twitter feed. The fire has been put out and flights have resumed, with delays.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending a representative to London to help with the investigation.
Here’s a photo of the incident:
— Edward Russell (@e_russell) July 12, 2013
— NYCAviation (@NYCAviation) July 12, 2013
The 787 Dreamliner returned to service in late April, after a federally-mandated grounding kept the jet from flying for several months, following two incidents in which its lithium ion battery overheated.
A fix for the battery system, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in April, does not address the root cause of the failures (which was not discoverd), but Boeing says it should prevent future problems, and contain them if they occur.
In a June interview at the Paris Air Show, Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the plane maker is completely confident in that solution.
The news sent Boeing shares tumbling by as much as 6.5%.
According to Jon Ostrower at the Wall Street Journal, this 787 Dreamliner was the first to return to resume commercial flights after the grounding.
On Twitter, Boeing confirmed the aircraft involved is a 787, and said it is investigating:
RT: We’re aware of the 787 event @HeathrowAirport and have Boeing personnel there. We’re working to fully understand and address this.
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) July 12, 2013
A photo from the scene shows damage near the tail of the plane, not very close to any of the 787’s batteries.
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) July 12, 2013
Here’s a diagram of where the batteries are located:
And here’s what aircraft routes around Heathrow look like during the shutdown, via FlightAware.com:
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