Ethiopian prepares to return fire damaged B787 back into service


(Posted 22nd December 2013)

Information was confirmed yesterday that the B787 Dreamliner of Ethiopian Airlines, which suffered severe structural damage during a fire, while parked at Heathrow earlier in the year, has undertaken test flights with the aim to restore the certificate of airworthiness before returning the aircraft into service. On July 12th did a malfunctioning locator beacon at the aft of the aircraft ignite, burning through the hull and leaving the aircraft bascially a write off, or so it was thought at the time, before news emerged that the airline decided after all to repair the B787 and return her to scheduled passenger operations. Not only needed the entire rear section of the aircraft’s hull to be fixed but also all the entire interior fittings, which were damaged by smoke. Wall and ceiling panels, overhead bins, seats and carpets were entirely replaced, giving the plane an ‘as new’ look with no future passengers the wiser for the fiery past of this aircraft, unless informed travellers recognize the plane’s registration.

(Picture taken from

The aircraft, registered as ET-AOP undertook an extended test flight over the North Sea yesterday, reaching up to 39.000 feet though more such flights are very likely carried out before the aircraft can be certified again for operations. This being the first ever major structural repair of a hull made of composite materials, engineers have broken novel ground even though one source from an MRO – an aircraft Maintenance and Repair Organisation – indicated that this aircraft will undoubtedly be subject to intense monitoring when returned to service.

Watch this space for breaking and regular news about the aviation industry in Eastern Africa.

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