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Using Mercury To Bring Down An Airliner?  
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From Costa Rica, joined Dec 2003, 3927 posts, RR: 14
Posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5098 times:

Seeing that everyday mercury is extremely corrosive to aluminum that made me wonder about the potential that would allow terrorists to use it to bring down an airliner.

I saw a show about various metals and in one segment it showed that mercury could corrode a thick aluminum beam in a matter of hours. Is this possible and do you think it could bring down an airliner on a long flight it enough was used in the right locations?

Also... are there any current restrictions about bringing items that contain mercury (thermometers, etc) on aircraft?

[Edited 2006-08-12 04:04:09]

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5081 times:

Every manufacture provides a section in their Maintenance Manuals covering cleaning Mercury spills. You are correct that it is very corrosive to aluminum but with the corrosion protection applied to aircraft structure (anodize or alodine, primer and top coat) it takes more than a few hours to cause damage.

User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5066 times:

I think someone would notice if they threw mercury all over a plane while they were boarding. Once they're on the plane, do they have access to any aluminum? I'm looking at some interior photos, and I don't think any passengers have access to structural components or skin during flight. It's not so corrosive to the carpet on the floor, so it seems highly unlikely to me. Just  twocents  though.

Not to mention, mercury is a metal, so it would probably set off the metal detector if carried on a person, and is poisonus, so it would be difficult to carry internally. It's a liquid under normal conditions, and you can't bring liquids on board right now anyway, so I'd say you have very little to worry about.

Position and hold
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5042 times:

TSA doesn't specifically mention mercury or thermometers, however mercury is certainly regulated as dangerous goods, and also covered under TSA corrosives restrictions.

Canada allows one small mercury thermometer in a case in passenger luggage. A large thermometer or barometer can only be carried by a government representative.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17661 posts, RR: 65
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5032 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 3):

Canada allows one small mercury thermometer in a case in passenger luggage.

Do they still make those?  Wink

I remember in Sweden you were encouraged to give them to pharmacies (as I recall) for disposal long ago.

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

Mercury comes under DGR goods.It would be a long term damage to an Aircraft rather than a short term one.

Think of the brighter side!
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