Boeing’s unending problems with its Dreamliners continue to give nightmares to passengers and airlines using this aircraft. In the latest trouble, an Air India B-787 flying from London to Delhi on Sunday night saw its transponders failing. The aircraft, which was over Germany after flying for about two hours from UK, then had to return to Heathrow. It barely made it there in time for the night curfew to kick in at Heathrow.
This vital equipment plays several crucial roles: it gives a collision warning to the pilot if another aircraft gets too close for comfort; pilots can use it to send distress signal discreetly to ATC and finally, it gives all details of the aircraft on the blips that appear on ATC radars. The emergency situations that transponders are used to warn ground controllers about are communication failure, hijack and any other emergency.
Full report here Times of India