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Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA  
User currently offlinetp1040 From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 208 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 14106 times:

AA had a small fire break out on a MD-82. A camcorder battery in the overhead. Only one incident, must have not been pleasant for the passengers. Hope it isn't a growing problem, but how many battery problems can we have before another UPS6?

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=469182f0&opt=0

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13829 times:

I know this is a candidate for LMGTFY, but... could someone explain in simple terms why lithium-ion batteries act this way in aircraft?

I purchased a set of lithium ion disposable batteries recently for my camera. Are they banned on flights or are there special precautions for bringing them aboard (loose as spares or already in a device)?



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13727 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 1):
I purchased a set of lithium ion disposable batteries recently for my camera. Are they banned on flights or are there special precautions for bringing them aboard (loose as spares or already in a device)?

Some info can be found here:

http://safetravel.dot.gov/index_batteries.html

Airlines would prefer that they be packed in one's carry-on bag. If something were to happen and a fire was caused by such batteries, it would be discovered much more quickly in the cabin. If it were in a checked bag, it may make it a lot harder to detect a fire depending on the location of the bag. By the time such a fire were to be detected, it may be too late.


User currently offlineEK413 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 4920 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 13442 times:

When I read the title I asked myself since when did AA accept delivery of their B787!

Great to see the passengers & crew escaped unharmed.

EK8413



Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!
User currently offlinelitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1765 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 13271 times:
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Hang on a sec... They dumped a malfunctioning LITHIUM battery into cold water?

User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 13231 times:

Quoting litz (Reply 4):
They dumped a malfunctioning LITHIUM battery into cold water?

Good catch. Didn't even think about that.

Lithium reacts much more violently in water than does sodium, I believe, and I've see what sodium can do...



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2891 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 13089 times:

B6 had one, I think it was N618JB or a tail right around that number which was brand freakin' new. There were a bunch of media people on board because of the Anna Nicole Smith death and they were going to the Bahamas to cover the story. One camera had a battery overheat in the overhead, emergency landing, overhead bin melted, all on board were fine, it was a mess and such a shame considering the plane had only been in service a few weeks. Of course, since the media caused the emergency, the media didn't cover it....otherwise you know they would have made it sound like 1000 people died in an Boeing 380 twin-engine aircraft fiery crash  


"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 897 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 12831 times:

Quoting litz (Reply 4):
Hang on a sec... They dumped a malfunctioning LITHIUM battery into cold water?

We're trained to submerge them in water or other non-alcoholic liquids. The fire will just restart if you don't cool the li-ion batteries.

[Edited 2013-09-27 14:32:13]

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6664 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 12730 times:

First of all, Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries catch fire everywhere, not just on airplanes. I'm not so sure about disposable ones, they're significantly different.

Now, airplanes add the pressure changes (could also happen if you go through a mountain pass by car/train), that could cause a broken battery to catch fire.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineDTW2HYD From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 1968 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 12654 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):
First of all, Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries catch fire everywhere, not just on airplanes. I'm not so sure about disposable ones, they're significantly different.

The non-rechargeable Lithium batteries are more dangerous and are banned. But they have very limited purpose in consumer electronics, old film SLR cameras used them widely. Interestingly 787 ELT uses one. The one scorched ET 787 @LHR.


User currently onlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6452 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 12567 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 1):
Are they banned on flights or are there special precautions for bringing them aboard (loose as spares or already in a device)?

Practically none of us passengers board a plane without bringing multiple Li-Ion batteries with us. In cameras, camcorders, shavers, phones, ipods, ipads, laptops and dozens of other things.

Some years ago - I think it was after UPS6 - there was made rules about how much Li-Ion each passenger may bring on board. I read quite some stuff about it since it was of great interest to my company with many world wide travelling employees. What I found out was that the limit per passenger is roughly two standard size laptop batteries.

It shall all (including spare laptop batteries and such) be in the carry on baggage, not in the checked baggage.

if (when) an incident happens, then a cabin crew member will find his/her fire gloves, stored with the fire extingisher, grab the smoking device and preferably put it in an oven in the galley until the battery runs out of energy.

In this incident the crew put it into water (not very clever) and returned to departing airport to have the fire fighters deal with it. It seems to indicate that it happens so rarely that they have forgotten what they learned about how to deal with it. Or maybe the cabin crew instructors have forgotten to teach this subject?

By far the most Li-Ion incidents happen while the batteries are being charged. You shall never charge any battery on board a plane!!! If you run a battery driven device on external power on a plane, then always remove the battery.

If you want to minimize the risk that you may cause such an incident, then it is a good idea never to charge the battery just before a flight. It is safer to have half empty batteries, also simply because they contain less potential energy. But here we are really splitting hairs.

The main issue however: If you have a damaged battery, even if it seems to be still working fine, empty it as soon as possible and dispose it of properly and legally. Never ever bring it into your house or on a plane or anything like that.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinecschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 12489 times:

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 9):
The non-rechargeable Lithium batteries are more dangerous and are banned. But they have very limited purpose in consumer electronics, old film SLR cameras used them widely. Interestingly 787 ELT uses one. The one scorched ET 787 @LHR.

They're banned on planes (I guess meaning passengers taking them on) but they're part of standard equipment on the 787? Am I understanding that correctly?


User currently offlineDTW2HYD From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 1968 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 12065 times:

Quoting cschleic (Reply 11):
They're banned on planes (I guess meaning passengers taking them on) but they're part of standard equipment on the 787? Am I understanding that correctly?

Larger Lithium Metal Batteries contain more than two grams of lithium, and are forbidden in air travel. (No common consumer lithium metal batteries are in the "larger" category.)

http://safetravel.dot.gov/definitions.html

Here are AA equivalent lithium.

http://www.energizer.com/batteries/p...ormance-lithium/Pages/default.aspx

According to AAIB report ET-AOP had Honeywell ELT model RESCU406AFN
http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/S5-2013%20ET-AOP.pdf

Here is the brochure for RESCU406AFN
http://www51.honeywell.com/aero/comm...es-documents/RESCU_406_AFN_ELT.pdf

See page 3 for technical specs.

[Edited 2013-09-27 16:01:24]

User currently onlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6452 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 11776 times:

Quoting cschleic (Reply 11):
They're banned on planes (I guess meaning passengers taking them on) but they're part of standard equipment on the 787? Am I understanding that correctly?

They are not banned. That would be inconvenient for people with some brands of hearing aids, and people with pacemakers, and a lot more.

The limit imposed by DOT for non-rechargeable lithium is a battery/batteries with maximum 2 grams of lithium contents. That's no problem for any ordinary airliner pasenger.

I have now found a link to the DOT rules: http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html

They apply to the US of A, but I would guess that rules are basically identical all over the world. These rules are very sensible. But it scares me a little that it seems the AA crew on this Chicago - Saint Louis flight didn't know how to deal properly with this pretty rare, but known and somewhat "routine" type of incident. What other of dozens of other minor possible incidents have they (also) forgotten how to manage?



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 10275 times:

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 7):
We're trained to submerge them in water or other non-alcoholic liquids. The fire will just restart if you don't cool the li-ion batteries.
This is what happens when you put lithium in water. Alkali metals like it (sodium is another) all react violently when they contact cold water. The higher the atomic number in the Alkali group, the more violent the reaction.

[Edited 2013-09-27 18:40:46]

[Edited 2013-09-27 18:41:14]


Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently offlineboeingguy26 From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 9854 times:

Way to draw the attention of readers with the Lithium Ion statement.

User currently offlineshamrock137 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 9143 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 14):
This is what happens when you put lithium in water. Alkali metals like it (sodium is another) all react violently when they contact cold water. The higher the atomic number in the Alkali group, the more violent the reaction.

Inflight crews are trained to use water to cool the battery packs surrounding the one which has experienced thermal runaway and is on fire. Lithium Ion batteries are made of multiple small cells. When one cell overheats and catches fire, the other cells are at risk of doing the same, causing a chain reaction. The cells are sealed so water shouldn't touch them. While lithium can cause a reaction with water, the goal is not to extinguish the fire or prevent a reaction, its to cool the surrounding cells, to keep the fire from spreading. The FAA recommends training for all airline personnel to attempt to extinguish with a HALON type extinguisher, then cool with water. It sounds crazy, exposing an electrical/metal fire to water, but its the best method available to crew members to fight these types of fires.



Time to spare? Go by air!
User currently offlineplunaaircanada From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 8941 times:

lol The thread title made me think of the 787. I forgot AA doesn't have any 787's in service yet.  


(E)ngines (T)urning (O)r (P)assengers (S)wimming
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (11 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 8392 times:

We recently took our large robot from the U.S. to Europe and it is powered by NUMEROUS Lithium Ion batteries...

I ended up doing A LOT of research on them and there are very specific rules....

Basically NEVER in checked/hold luggage.

Above a certain size (HUGE...160 Wh) they are not allowed at all.

Below that size but still large. (100 Wh to 160 Wh) ..only TWO are allowed.

Below that size (100 Wh...where most consumer electronic batteries fall) unlimited number are allowed in carry on/cabin luggage.

Typical is what Swiss lists on their restricted objects page:
http://www.swiss.com/web/EN/services...ods/Pages/restricted_objects.aspx#

"Consumer electronic devices containing lithium ion cells or batteries, spare lithium ion batteries with a watt-hour rating of max. 100 Wh permitted in carry-on baggage only

A maximum of 2 spare lithium ion batteries of portable electronic devices with a watt-hour rating between 100Wh and 160Wh permitted in carry-on baggage only. Must be registered with SWISS in advance"


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3005 posts, RR: 27
Reply 19, posted (11 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7075 times:

Quoting Burj (Reply 18):
Basically NEVER in checked/hold luggage.

Which the airlines themselves ignore every time they do gate checks.

The FAA has documented 160+ incidents involving Li-Ion batteries, about half of them in checked baggage, in the last 5 years. In several incidents, batteries let go on the ramp. It's only a matter of time until it happens in a hold.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineozguy From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 392 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4378 times:

SOP can include using water for the item in a Lihium battery fire, it's not a case of crew forgetting or not being taught, this is pretty standard across the board and for a flight that was only airborne a matter of minutes it sounds like the crew did a fantastic job and did their job correctly.

User currently offlinejayunited From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 938 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (11 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3577 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 19):
Which the airlines themselves ignore every time they do gate checks.

The FAA has documented 160+ incidents involving Li-Ion batteries, about half of them in checked baggage, in the last 5 years. In several incidents, batteries let go on the ramp. It's only a matter of time until it happens in a hold.

Whose job is it to check for Li-ion batteries because ground personnel are trained and told about the dangers of LI-ion batteries and that they should not be in customers bags at all but we do not have the authority (this includes gate agents and ramp personnel) to actually go into a customers bag to make sure that these batteries have not been packed. Is it the customers responsibility to inform the customer service agent? Is it the TSA's responsibility to find these batteries when the customers checked luggage is screened or when their carryon's go thru the X-ray machine? I'm asking because you have made the statement that airlines are ignoring this rule and the truth is we are not we are trained in this area but we can not physically inspect the contents of customers bags, we have to take the customers word or trust that the TSA agents who are inspecting both checked bags and carryon's will catch something if the customer has failed to disclose it to the agent. So how are airline employees suppose to intercept these batteries when they are packed into a customers bag? I agree more must be done to prevent these incidents from happening but by whom?


User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2005 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 19):
Which the airlines themselves ignore every time they do gate checks.

I've seen gate agents/FA's tell pax to pull out laptops and batteries from bags before they are gate checked...but not most of the time.

I agree that this is and issue that really needs to be addressed....


User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1999 times:

Quoting Burj (Reply 18):
We recently took our large robot from the U.S. to Europe and it is powered by NUMEROUS Lithium Ion batteries...

I should add that when we went through the TSA check at EWR and they saw we had a box full of these batteries in our carry on they TSA agent told us that we should have checked them!

We had to point out to them that they aren't allowed in checked/hold baggage. They didn't seem that concerned about the batteries but did focus on the bundle of rope we had....

So rope = big concern.... box full of batteries = passing glance.... Welcome to the TSA!


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3005 posts, RR: 27
Reply 24, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1820 times:

Quoting Burj (Reply 22):
I've seen gate agents/FA's tell pax to pull out laptops and batteries from bags before they are gate checked...but not most of the time.

I've had the opposite experience - gate agents insisting the carry-on be checked, batteries and all.

Pax don't realize how ubiquitous li-ions are - one of the FAA documented incidents involved a rechargeable curling iron (fortunately it let go on the ramp).



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6664 posts, RR: 11
Reply 25, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1692 times:

There is one in my beard trimmer, I've checked it many times, never thinking about this.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
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