Boeing reviews electricals in 717

December 24, 2004 - 4:49PM
 

Airline manufacturer Boeing has been forced to review electrical equipment near toilets on its 717 aircraft following the forced emergency landing of a Jetstar plane earlier this year.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has completed its investigation into the July 26 incident on board a Jetstar flight between

 Brisbane and Hamilton Island.

It said on Friday Boeing was reviewing the placement and design of internal plane phones as well as the reliability of the taps in its toilets on Boeing 717s.

Boeing was forced into the review after a plane carrying 56 people made an emergency landing at Mackay when smoke and fumes were noticed in the plane's passenger section.

Several people were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

The ATSB said cabin crew had noticed water spilling from a hand-basin in one of the plane's toilets early in the flight.

The leakage was cleaned up and the toilet locked to prevent its use.

But a crew member noticed an electrical smell coming from the toilet, while a phone handpiece on the outside of the toilet was hot to touch.

Soon after, the cabin manager alerted the pilot that part of the phone's handset wiring was melting.

The ATSB said an electrical circuit breaker in the toilet had popped, with the fault traced to a short circuit in a connect plug found under the toilet's handbasin.

Water from the handbasin had seeped into the plug, resulting in several pins in the plug welding together which in turn affected the phone.

Boeing is now reviewing the failure conditions that can affect the water shut-off mechanisms on toilet hand-basins, and the design and assembly of the internal phones.

The incident also revealed another problem, with the flight crew reporting a landing gear down on emergency electrical power indicator was different to that in 717 flight simulators used by Jetstar.

Jetstar found the simulator was incorrectly set for the emergency electrical power condition.

Software changes were being made by the simulator's manufacturer.

Link to Boeing 717 Integrated Electrical Power System

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