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FAA to require beacon checks after Dreamliner fire

A Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner sits at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, on June 17, 2013
A Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner sits at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, on June 17, 2013. US aviation authorities said Friday they were working "to develop instructions to operators" on how to inspect the emergency beacons suspected of causing a fire o

US aviation authorities said Friday they were working "to develop instructions to operators" on how to inspect the emergency beacons suspected of causing a fire on a Boeing Dreamliner last week in London.

"After reviewing the initial findings" from Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch, or AAIB, "the Federal Aviation Administration is working with Boeing to develop instructions to operators for inspection of the Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) on Boeing 787 aircraft," the FAA said in a statement.

These inspections will be mandatory and operators will need to check for evidence of "proper wire routing and any signs of wire damage or pinching" in the Honeywell-made beacons, the FAA said.

Airline companies with 787s in their fleet will also be required to "inspect the battery compartment for unusual signs of heating or moisture," the statement added.

The FAA said it would publish its directives in the coming days.

In a report Thursday, Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch, or AAIB, recommended that distress beacons onboard all Boeing Dreamliners be disabled, after a fire broke out on an empty Ethiopian Airlines plane parked at Heathrow airport.

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