EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing continues to investigate Monday's incident on ZA002. We have determined that a failure in the P100 panel led to a fire involving an insulation blanket. The insulation self-extinguished once the fault in the P100 panel cleared. The P100 panel on ZA002 has been removed and a replacement unit is being shipped to Laredo. The insulation material near the unit also has been removed.
Damage to the ZA002 P100 panel is significant. Initial inspections, however, do not show extensive damage to the surrounding structure or other systems. We have not completed our inspections of that area of the airplane.
The P100 panel is one of several power panels in the aft electronics bay. It receives power from the left engine and distributes it to an array of systems. In the event of a failure of the P100 panel, backup power sources – including power from the right engine, the Ram Air Turbine, the auxiliary power unit or the battery – are designed to automatically engage to ensure that those systems needed for continued safe operation of the airplane are powered. The backup systems engaged during the incident and the crew retained positive control of the airplane at all times and had the information it needed to perform a safe landing.
Molten metal has been observed near the P100 panel, which is not unexpected in the presence of high heat. The presence of this material does not reveal anything meaningful to the investigation.
Inspection of the surrounding area will take several days and is ongoing. It is too early to determine if there is significant damage to any structure or adjacent systems.
As part of our investigation, we will conduct a detailed inspection of the panel and insulation material to determine if they enhance our understanding of the incident.
We continue to evaluate data to understand this incident. At the same time, we are working through a repair plan. In addition, we are determining the appropriate steps required to return the rest of the flight test fleet to flying status.
Boeing will continue to provide updates as new understanding is gained.