Gonzalo
Topic Author
Posts: 1527
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 am

EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:27 pm

Flight from Dubai to Beijing has to divert to Urumqi after fire in the cargo hold. 270 People on board.
The airline confirmed the aircraft diverted to Urumqi due to a fire alert in the aft cargo hold as result of smoke from a lithium battery. The passengers were provided with accomodation and have been rebooked onto connecting flights from Urumqui to Beijing on Jul 3rd.

Emergency services found some luggage damaged after the fire, so this was not a simple "smoke alarm".

This issue with the Li batteries is getting a little alarming IMHO, we have some incidents like this in the past, and was probably the main cause of the loss of a 747F not so long ago...
Maybe it is time to think in different measures to carry this things on board...

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=4521d5ef&opt=0

Rgds.

G.

[Edited 2012-07-03 14:30:43]
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789
 
User avatar
N14AZ
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:19 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:30 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
The passengers were provided with accomodation

Oh dear, some passengers, in particular those sitting in front of the wings, will not like accomodation in Urumqi.

However, more important is that nothing serious happened.
 
Gonzalo
Topic Author
Posts: 1527
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:36 pm

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 1):
Oh dear, some passengers, in particular those sitting in front of the wings, will not like accomodation in Urumqi.

Indeed... Urumqi is not precisely a "luxury place".... but OTOH, I'm sure I will be very happy in a farm surrounded with cows and horses instead of a charred pile of burning metal, and that could be the case if the fire suppression system fails and they not land ASAP.

Rgds.

G.
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789
 
crosswinds21
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:46 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:40 pm

Interesting. This may be a stupid question, but what would have happened if this situation occurred while the aircraft was flying over the middle of an ocean?
 
User avatar
DL_Mech
Posts: 2074
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 7:48 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:41 pm

It's always a good thing to see that a cargo smoke detection system works as advertised.........
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
Senchingo
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:59 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:49 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):

This issue with the Li batteries is getting a little alarming IMHO, we have some incidents like this in the past, and was probably the main cause of the loss of a 747F not so long ago...
Maybe it is time to think in different measures to carry this things on board...

My alarms went off right there, too. This lithium battery issue is going on since quite a while and working in aircargo business i can just say that a small sticker on the package and a mention of IATA regulations to refer to on the AWB is not enough.
I very well remember Asiana 744F crashing due to the exact same problem and i'm glad that this EK a/c made it to the ground safely.
It is definitely time to take a close look at those batteries (no matter if lithium or metal) and either classify them as a really dangerous good (not just excepted) or ban them.
Maybe it's not correct, but i think i remember that back then the OZ 744F did ignite the fire suppression system but it did not work because of some physical issues (like using water vs. burning oil).

Another source pretty interesting: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...on-crashed-asiana-747-400f-360069/

Quote:
While there is no immediate evidence that the cargo contributed to the accident, lithium batteries are considered a potentially hazardous cargo owing to the risk they pose of in-flight fire.
The UPS 747-400F which crashed in Dubai in September last year had been transporting lithium batteries when the aircraft suffered a fire in cruise and attempted to divert.
 
Gonzalo
Topic Author
Posts: 1527
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:19 pm

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 3):
Interesting. This may be a stupid question, but what would have happened if this situation occurred while the aircraft was flying over the middle of an ocean?

For this particular case, nothing ( since the fire suppression system did the work and extinguished the fire ), but IF ( I know that's a big "IF" ) the system is overwhelmed by the fire and they not land soon, the outcome can be very tragic like the SAA295 was years ago, or the Asiana 744F just months ago.

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 5):
My alarms went off right there, too. This lithium battery issue is going on since quite a while and working in aircargo business i can just say that a small sticker on the package and a mention of IATA regulations to refer to on the AWB is not enough.

The Li batteries should be forbidden in the luggage and should be mandatory to carry them in the hand luggage, were the crew or the same passengers can take some action against a "hot" battery, keeping a device that *can* auto ignite in the luggage cargo hold is not a good idea. Now, for the specific case of Freight flights, some ideas were "all over" after the Asiana crash, but I don't know if some of all that was implemented or not.

Rgds.

G.

[Edited 2012-07-03 15:22:47]
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789
 
User avatar
9MMPQ
Posts: 368
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:00 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:29 pm

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 3):
Interesting. This may be a stupid question, but what would have happened if this situation occurred while the aircraft was flying over the middle of an ocean?

The B777 has a number of fire suppression bottles. After the first 2 are discharged by the crew the remaining bottles come into play and provide another 3 hours of protection. With this case as an example i doubt the outcome would have been much different if this occurred over the middle of an ocean.

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 5):
Maybe it's not correct, but i think i remember that back then the OZ 744F did ignite the fire suppression system but it did not work because of some physical issues

Like UPS 6 i've read that Asiana 991 was carrying these batteries on the maindeck. Without a fire suppression system on the maindeck things become very difficult. Then again i haven't read that lithium batteries were officially marked as being the cause but they are definitely the first suspect.

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 5):
This lithium battery issue is going on since quite a while and working in aircargo business i can just say that a small sticker on the package and a mention of IATA regulations to refer to on the AWB is not enough.

Frankly i think it's downright dangerous, it only draws attention away further. Unfortunately i doubt we'll see a change soon. With so many being used in our societies there's obviously a big commercial stake in it & i doubt anyone would be happy if they're having to pay more & get it shipped via slower alternatives.

In any case these batteries can be a nasty piece of work. This FAA safety alert to operators makes for some interesting reading:

http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviat...all_safos/media/2010/SAFO10017.pdf
I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:47 pm

Quoting 9MMPQ (Reply 7):
Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 3):
Interesting. This may be a stupid question, but what would have happened if this situation occurred while the aircraft was flying over the middle of an ocean?

The B777 has a number of fire suppression bottles. After the first 2 are discharged by the crew the remaining bottles come into play and provide another 3 hours of protection. With this case as an example i doubt the outcome would have been much different if this occurred over the middle of an ocean.

Passenger planes have stricter fire suppression requirements. I’m not sure what ETOPS rating Emirates carries, but the airplane has to have fire suppression capability for the entire ETOPS diversion, so that is typically 3 hours of protection.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
Senchingo
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:59 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:56 pm

Quoting 9MMPQ (Reply 7):
Unfortunately i doubt we'll see a change soon. With so many being used in our societies there's obviously a big commercial stake in it & i doubt anyone would be happy if they're having to pay more & get it shipped via slower alternatives.
In any case these batteries can be a nasty piece of work. This FAA safety alert to operators makes for some interesting reading:

Thanks, 9MMPQ, for your reply, really appreciated! I agree in most points. It definitely is becoming a much bigger issue in times of all kinds of electronical equip being shipped (mobile phones/pads etc).

As i said "It is definitely time to take a close look at those batteries (no matter if lithium or metal) and either classify them as a really dangerous good (not just excepted) or ban them". Your (very impressive and to me unknown until now) posted report of the FAA states factually the same:

Quote:
Nonetheless, most lithium batteries and devices are currently classified as excepted from the Class 9 provisions of the HMR. Because of this exception, they do not require a Notice to the Pilot in Command (NOTOC) to alert the crew of their presence on-board an aircraft

This is to my believe the most severe factor for those batteries to be immidiately classified as "real" DG or at least pay attention to, which excepted DG is mostly not at the moment (due to the fact that it is not even mentioned on the Notoc or initial DG checks)

Quote:
Overheating has the potential to create thermal runaway, a chain reaction leading to self-heating and release of a battery’s stored energy. In a fire situation, the air temperature in a cargo compartment fire may be above the auto-ignition temperature of lithium. For this reason, batteries that are not involved in an initial fire may ignite and propagate, thus creating a risk of a catastrophic event

The following quotation is only referring to the FAA, but as far i know, specific airline restrictions (operator variations) as well as countries regulations (state variations) do not require the same

Quote:
these circumstances can potentially lead to a loss of Halon 1301, allowing rapid fire spread within a cargo compartment to other flammable materials. For this reason, lithium metal cells are currently prohibited as bulk cargo shipments on passenger carrying aircraft

The following part is maybe the most shocking to me. It states that once burning, those batteries ignite all kinds of typical packing material (like paper, fibreboard etc) around it and start a chain reaction. The a/c's suppression system can stop normal fires, but remember that it is limited to the lower deck of subject a/c. The main deck is most likely less effective, therefore the outcome of such fire would be tremendous.

Quote:
Like lithium metal batteries, lithium-ion batteries can be subject to thermal runaway. A battery in thermal runaway can reach temperatures above 1,100 degrees F, which exceeds the ignition temperature of most Class A materials, including paper and cardboard. These temperatures are also very close to the melting point of aluminum (1,220 degrees F). The fire suppression system in Class C compartments, Halon 1301, has been shown to be effective in suppressing fires generated by lithium-ion batteries, but does not eliminate the risk of transporting such batteries
 
AngMoh
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:25 pm

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 1):
Oh dear, some passengers, in particular those sitting in front of the wings, will not like accomodation in Urumqi.

I did stay one night in a very nice 5-star hotel in Urumqi and I am pretty sure those passengers in the front would appreciate such a room. There are quite a number of other 5-star hotels. The place is not as retarded as you might think.

http://www.hongfuhotel.com/html1/266.aspx
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 739ER 742 743 744 752 762 772 773 77W A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
Gonzalo
Topic Author
Posts: 1527
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 10):
I did stay one night in a very nice 5-star hotel in Urumqi and I am pretty sure those passengers in the front would appreciate such a room. There are quite a number of other 5-star hotels. The place is not as retarded as you might think.

Thanks for your input. Looking some pictures of the airport I thought that is was very "basic" and some sort of "sample" of the whole city, but later I searched for images of the city in the web and ( like almost every place in the world nowadays ), there are "wealthy" neighborhoods and more sophisticated places.

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 9):
This is to my believe the most severe factor for those batteries to be immidiately classified as "real" DG or at least pay attention to, which excepted DG is mostly not at the moment (due to the fact that it is not even mentioned on the Notoc or initial DG checks)
Quoting Senchingo (Reply 9):
The a/c's suppression system can stop normal fires, but remember that it is limited to the lower deck of subject a/c. The main deck is most likely less effective, therefore the outcome of such fire would be tremendous.

I agree with you. Sadly we are used in the industry to introduce the "hard" changes ( those that usually cost money, time and work ) only after a couple of hundreds of people lost their lives in an accident. One aviation safety expert from the NTSB called this practice "Sepulchral Technology", and that is a very appropriate name. I honestly hope we are "overreacting" here and nothing will ever proves our fears are justified.

Rgds.

G.
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789
 
User avatar
EK413
Posts: 4338
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 3:11 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:00 am

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 1):
Oh dear, some passengers, in particular those sitting in front of the wings, will not like accomodation in Urumqi.

I'm sure they are grateful to be safely on the ground... The airlines priority is to land safely and not just the "J/C, F/C" passengers...

EK413
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!
 
coolum
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:24 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:26 am

Extract from IATA on the very subject.

The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) met in October 2011 and again in February 2012 to discuss revised procedures for Lithium Batteries. Specifically the handling of “bulk” shipments prepared under Section II of Packing Instructions 965 and 968 to appear on the information to the pilot-in-command. Full report of the February working group.

Changes on Lithium batteries in the Dangerous Goods Regulation
Below is a summary of changes to be incorporated into the 54th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations effective 1 January 2013 once approved by the ICAO Council.

These changes primarily concern:

New Section II lithium ion (PI 965 II) and lithium metal (PI 968 II) cell and batteries quantity limits per package
New Section “1B” for lithium ion (PI 965 1B) and metal (PI 968 1B)
The ICAO DGP does not consider however that these changes will necessarily reduce incidents involving lithium batteries. To significantly improve safety, IATA advocates for enhanced outreach of regulations applicable to the transport and testing of lithium batteries by manufacturers as well as shippers.

More info can be found here: https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/Pages/lithium-battery-change.aspx
Coolum
 
User avatar
Qatara340
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 2:07 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:08 am

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 1):
Oh dear, some passengers, in particular those sitting in front of the wings, will not like accomodation in Urumqi.

There are like 2 5-star hotels in Urumqi. LOL So, not really that bad!

Thank God nothing happened to the plane or passengers as batterys can explode. How many times do we see iPhones explode mysteriously? There was one incident when an iPhone exploded (albeit a minor one) but still; what would happen if a whole container of lithium batteries exploded?
لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
 
RIXrat
Posts: 674
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:20 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:05 am

Maybe there should be a rule against bulk shipments of these batteries if they contain any electrical charge. It would be a hassle on the other end, though, especially if they are included with the communications device. I also remember several years ago on this site a number of postings about non-standard Chinese lighters being shipped by air.
 
PanHAM
Posts: 8538
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:00 am

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 9):
This is to my believe the most severe factor for those batteries to be immidiately classified as "real" DG or at least pay attention to, which excepted DG is mostly not at the moment (due to the fact that it is not even mentioned on the Notoc or initial DG checks)
Quoting coolum (Reply 13):
The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) met in October 2011 and again in February 2012 to discuss revised procedures for Lithium Batteries. Specifically the handling of “bulk” shipments prepared under Section II of Packing Instructions 965 and 968 to appear on the information to the pilot-in-command. Full report of the February working group

Yes, there have been changes to the regulations recently and there was also a recent article in DVZ (in german) about his matter.

The best IATA DGR regulations however are worthless when passengers pack items with Li batteries into their checked luggage. it does not help either when uneducated shippers send such parcels , ignoring rules and regulations. Since passenger baggage is screened before loading anyhow, methods should be developed to separate such luggage and have these inspected at the gate before loading.

Good IATA cargo agents know their customers and screen the declared contents. When I was in export operations, I always called the shipper, when in doubt, and asked if then contents could be in any way DG.
powered by Eierlikör
 
coolum
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:24 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:04 am

Unfortunately some passengers will tend to try and do their own thing, no matter what regulations are in place.
This can be down to either ignorance or plain disregard for the regulations. This isn't just limited to Li batteries, but any DG item.

I know at most UK airports, any baggage that is suspected (after being screened or from profiling the pax) of containing prohibited items, is separated and taken to the gate for examination in the passengers presence. I'm not sure if this is the case for the rest of Europe (someone else may have that knowledge).

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 16):
Yes, there have been changes to the regulations recently

There have been some changes come into force already, but the real restrictive measures won't be brought into effect until next year.

With regards to the cargo agents, the same happens where I am now.
If there is a suspicion of hidden or undeclared dangerous goods, the agent is contacted, as the repercussions and penalties can be very severe.

[Edited 2012-07-04 02:06:40]
Coolum
 
PanHAM
Posts: 8538
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:57 am

Quoting coolum (Reply 17):
If there is a suspicion of hidden or undeclared dangerous goods, the agent is contacted, as the repercussions and penalties can be very severe.

what I meant is, a good IATA cargo agent, and that was how I ran my shop when I was managing director of such an agency, detects a potential and undeclared DG shipment before it is delivered to the carrier.
powered by Eierlikör
 
abrown532
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:17 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:37 am

The main issue with these batteries is when they are fitted to electric wheelchairs for passenger who require that they bring their wheelchair with them on holiday. As a dispatcher I check at least 4 or 5 times that the battery is properly disconnected and loaded securely because they are damn dangerous! To be honest, I think wet/dry cell lithuim batteries should be banned or forced to travel is some sort of special fire-proof box.
 
coolum
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:24 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:41 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):
what I meant is, a good IATA cargo agent, and that was how I ran my shop when I was managing director of such an agency, detects a potential and undeclared DG shipment before it is delivered to the carrier.

Don't get me wrong, I completely agree with you. Apologies for any misunderstanding  
Coolum
 
coolum
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:24 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:51 am

Quoting abrown532 (Reply 19):
The main issue with these batteries is when they are fitted to electric wheelchairs for passenger who require that they bring their wheelchair with them on holiday. As a dispatcher I check at least 4 or 5 times that the battery is properly disconnected and loaded securely because they are damn dangerous! To be honest, I think wet/dry cell lithuim batteries should be banned or forced to travel is some sort of special fire-proof box.

I used to be in the same situation as you.
While that would probably the safest solution, its probably not the most practicable.
Whether agreed with or not, it seems some things are done in the safest possible way, while still making things easy for the passenger.
There was an addendum to the 53rd ed DGR that added a lot about mobility aids. (http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/Documents/53rev01en-apr26.pdf)
Coolum
 
Gonzalo
Topic Author
Posts: 1527
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:02 pm

I know talking is easier than doing, but IMHO all the issue can be solved almost totally with measures that are pretty simple.
Cultural changes will be necessary, and probably some investments and developments, but nothing impossible or out of this world. For the "personal" shipments, is as simple as banning the batteries in the checked luggage, in the same way that you can not carry a knife in your hand luggage, this will be the opposite, and this batteries should be in the hand luggage. Is very easy to control this with the X-ray machines and a few announcements here and there, until the people familiarizes with the new rule.... is just a matter of time before no one even think in put his battery in the checked luggage in the same way that no one ( except crazy or very "distracted" people ) tries to sneak a knife in the hand luggage today.
The big shipments in the freight industry will be more complicated and probably will need some sort of investment or deeper changes, but again, nothing out of this world.

Let's hope the changes will come before we hear about more serious incidents or accidents.

Rgds.

G.
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12427
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:14 pm

One other factor as to these types of batteries in passenger baggage going off is that they will usually be in bags or containers with clothing, cloth items, a variety of plastics, all of which can rapidly be ignited and feed a growing fire. Just one battery failure may be the cause of this serious incident, but the odds of such an event is tiny compared to the billions of these batteries in devices flying every year. Where I would have concerns would be many older and smaller aircraft without the fire suppression systems as on this flight to deal with such incidents.

As to mandating such devices being carried in the pax cabin, that has it's risks too. If they fail and in a place where their may not be fire suppression systems, a cabin with plenty of flammable materials and with the issues of the reaction of the human passengers to any fire or thinking a terror attack is taking place, the pax cabin may not be the best place for them either.

One also has to consider that maybe some pax bought some cheap and possibly illegal copies of some electronic devices with poorly made batteries or even legitimate ones with a flaw to bring home as gifts or to bring home for resale to make a few bucks back home. I don't know how you get around that problem without more onerous security procedures no one wants.
 
sankaps
Posts: 1692
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:51 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:55 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 22):
Cultural changes will be necessary, and probably some investments and developments, but nothing impossible or out of this world. For the "personal" shipments, is as simple as banning the batteries in the checked luggage, in the same way that you can not carry a knife in your hand luggage, this will be the opposite, and this batteries should be in the hand luggage.

India has bizzarely insisted on the opposite for years... no batteries in hand luggage, only in checked luggage (resulting in amyn arguments at security)! I think the rationale has to do with bomb triggers etc, but has not really been thought through fully.
 
KDAYflyer
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:37 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:15 pm

I thought that the cargo hold fire suppression system consisted of CO2, not water.
 
PITingres
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:59 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:51 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 22):
I know talking is easier than doing, but IMHO all the issue can be solved almost totally with measures that are pretty simple.
Cultural changes will be necessary, and probably some investments and developments ...

I think you're being way too optimistic. I get the impression that most posters here are thinking in terms of a removable laptop battery. What about batteries that aren't removable? What about items with internal, non-removable batteries that aren't clearly marked as lithium? What about people who aren't even fully aware that some piece of equipment contains a battery (and yes, that may sound stupid, but I know lots of people who don't know and don't care how some magic toy works -- a camera might be a good example). I'm looking at a Kindle and an older iPhone right now, presumably at least one contains a lithium battery but I can't tell by any markings on the outside.

Quoting abrown532 (Reply 19):
The main issue with these batteries is when they are fitted to electric wheelchairs for passenger who require that they bring their wheelchair with them on holiday. ... I think wet/dry cell lithuim batteries should be banned or forced to travel is some sort of special fire-proof box.

Banning obviously is out unless you're willing to ban the passenger entirely, or provide them gratis with a replacement battery at the other end.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
Gonzalo
Topic Author
Posts: 1527
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:00 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 26):
I think you're being way too optimistic. I get the impression that most posters here are thinking in terms of a removable laptop battery. What about batteries that aren't removable? What about items with internal, non-removable batteries that aren't clearly marked as lithium? What about people who aren't even fully aware that some piece of equipment contains a battery (and yes, that may sound stupid, but I know lots of people who don't know and don't care how some magic toy works -- a camera might be a good example). I'm looking at a Kindle and an older iPhone right now, presumably at least one contains a lithium battery but I can't tell by any markings on the outside.

I'm afraid you're totally right on this. That's why I said earlier :

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 11):
Sadly we are used in the industry to introduce the "hard" changes ( those that usually cost money, time and work ) only after a couple of hundreds of people lost their lives in an accident. One aviation safety expert from the NTSB called this practice "Sepulchral Technology", and that is a very appropriate name. I honestly hope we are "overreacting" here and nothing will ever proves our fears are justified.

It is a shame how innovative and creative the human being can be when making money is involved, and how lazy we can be when the ( usually others ) safety is the main goal. The aviation industry has become one of the safest in the world and the accident rate is extremely low, but we are used to make changes only AFTER avoidable tragedies, let's hope this time the things will be different.

Rgds.

G.
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11517
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:09 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 26):
What about batteries that aren't removable? What about items with internal, non-removable batteries that aren't clearly marked as lithium?

I'm not aware of any internal, non-removable batteries starting fires on airplanes. Are you?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
User avatar
Pellegrine
Posts: 1828
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:19 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:09 pm

Another thing to think about:

AFAIK Halon 1301 (or any other Halon) does not actually put out Class D metal fires. It isn't even rated for Class D fires. However, it will chemically quench resulting flames and fires from Class A, B, and C materials i.e. ordinary combustibles, electrical, flammables. Also, halon doesn't do anything about the temperature increase from a battery experiencing thermal runaway, so the cargo hold is going to have to remain flooded with halon to prevent ignition/re-ignition of nearby combustibles.
oh boy, here we go!!!
 
lax25r
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 2:41 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:10 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 28):
I'm not aware of any internal, non-removable batteries starting fires on airplanes. Are you?

There was at least one incident that I'm aware of. The battery of an Iphone overheated and went into thermal runaway. It was caused by improper repair of the phone at an unlicensed repair facility.

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=446c4f7f/0018&opt=0

[Edited 2012-07-04 09:13:53]
 
mham001
Posts: 4287
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:52 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:28 pm

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 14):
How many times do we see iPhones explode mysteriously? There was one incident when an iPhone exploded (albeit a minor one) but still; what would happen if a whole container of lithium batteries exploded?

Batteries have many different chemistries. Not all "lithium" batteries are pure lithium and those are much safer. It is the prevalence of cheap, poorly made lithium batteries that needs watching. It is not surprising where this flight originated.
 
777way
Posts: 6470
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:38 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:33 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 2):
Indeed... Urumqi is not precisely a "luxury place".... but OTOH, I'm sure I will be very happy in a farm surrounded with cows and horses instead of a charred pile of burning metal, and that could be the case if the fire suppression system fails and they not land ASAP.

Not that backward from this image of the city.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/Urumqi_panorama.jpg

however the only international chain to run a hotel in Urumqi was Holiday Inn back in the 80s when China boom started, the building with the revolving restaurant on top was it http://www.chinatour.pk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/urumqi.jpg

[Edited 2012-07-04 10:52:45]
 
na
Posts: 9173
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:50 pm

If the Triple Seven would not have the detection system, we probably would have had the first major 777 crash to report, something like the SAA crash in 1987.

I think all 744Fs should be retrofitted with such a system as at least one was lost due to a similar occurance.
 
Gonzalo
Topic Author
Posts: 1527
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:52 pm

Quoting mham001 (Reply 31):
It is not surprising where this flight originated.

Not following you.... this flight originated in Dubai. As far as i know the products in Dubai are usually original brands and not fony bad copies.

Quoting 777way (Reply 32):
Not that backward from this image of the city.

Yep. Maybe is far away, but is not the small village that I had in my imagination. Another reason to never make assumptions without proper information. In any case I already corrected myself after a search in the web :

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 11):
but later I searched for images of the city in the web and ( like almost every place in the world nowadays ), there are "wealthy" neighborhoods and more sophisticated places.

Rgds.

G.
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789
 
777way
Posts: 6470
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:38 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:05 pm

^Ok sorry I didnt notice that post of yours.

Quoting 777way (Reply 32):
the only international chain to run a hotel in Urumqi was Holiday Inn back in the 80s

BTW they have a Sheraton Hotel http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sherat...verview/index.html?propertyID=1707 didnt know that.
 
BOAC911
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:47 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:37 pm

There are a number of nice looking hotels in this city.
 
Senchingo
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:59 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:41 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 26):
What about people who aren't even fully aware that some piece of equipment contains a battery (and yes, that may sound stupid, but I know lots of people who don't know and don't care how some magic toy works -- a camera might be a good example). I'm looking at a Kindle and an older iPhone right now,
Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 14):
There was one incident when an iPhone exploded (albeit a minor one)

That in some parts is referred to in the IATA regulations as "hidden dangerous good". There are several pages of examples what hidden DG could look like (Zippo's, Ski/Snowboard lifesaving inflating backpacks etc).
Of course you're right that these might be more than just "classified" dangerous, but my guess is that stuff brought in your handbags or trouser is not the thing we're talking about here. If your phone explodes in your pocket or your camera starts smoking in the bin, you'll realize and most likely nothing more than a minor pain will occur.
Cargo shipments carrying several hundred kilos (or pounds) of this stuff is another story if they ignite half the compartment before being displayed on the cockpit display.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 16):
Good IATA cargo agents know their customers and screen the declared contents. When I was in export operations, I always called the shipper, when in doubt, and asked if then contents could be in any way DG.

I'm not quite sure if that helps though (and don't get me wrong please, i've been reading quite some great comments of yours while i was not yet registered here). So many agents are in the list of "known consignor" etc and my guess is that the biggest part of handling agents/warehouses/consolidators does not call the sender. It's so much about consolidating, saving cost, being effective that the feeling for dangerous things is lost more and more. It's a very good example if companies really call and ask for suspicious items,on the other hand i doubt that they even know what's really inside, what could be a hazard of some kind or they would tell if it really would be.

Quoting coolum (Reply 17):
I know at most UK airports, any baggage that is suspected (after being screened or from profiling the pax) of containing prohibited items, is separated and taken to the gate for examination in the passengers presence. I'm not sure if this is the case for the rest of Europe (someone else may have that knowledge).

Can only share my experience of paranoid behaviour here (even though i'm always pro safety): Took a flight from KIX to OKA. Carried one lighter in my trouser, one in my check in bag. Been called out on the loudspeakers to report to Gate XX asap. Went there, they brought my bag and needed 3 more people to translate into English that my check in bag contains a "suspicious" item. Police openend the bag and removed the lighter - i had to sign some paperwork about not claiming the item back, about security regulations etc. Even after trying to convince them that a normal (non gasoline) lighter is totally fine and even showing them their own poster of "forbidden items" they refused.

Quoting coolum (Reply 13):
Below is a summary of changes to be incorporated into the 54th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations effective 1 January 2013 once approved by the ICAO Council.

It's about time to change those regulations. I'm sick an tired of stuff changed like in the 53rd edition (instead of marking "limited quantity/ltd. qty." on the package you can now put a "Y" sticker on the package)

Quoting abrown532 (Reply 19):
The main issue with these batteries is when they are fitted to electric wheelchairs for passenger who require that they bring their wheelchair with them on holiday. As a dispatcher I check at least 4 or 5 times that the battery is properly disconnected and loaded securely because they are damn dangerous!

Well there are specific regulations by IATA, operator and state variations etc to the batteries connected to wheelchairs. I think pretty much every major airline already allows these to only be loaded if battery is disconnected, may it be for the simple fact that it is impossible to move by itself or the fact that this battery is dangerous.
 
rwy04lga
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:21 am

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:54 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 2):
middle of an ocean?

Oddly enough, it's within 200 miles of the point on earth furthest from the ocean.

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 10):
The place is not as retarded as you might think.

I'm sure he didn't think that. Lighten up.
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
PanHAM
Posts: 8538
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 37):
I'm not quite sure if that helps though (and don't get me wrong please, i've been reading quite some great comments

I have to agree. It always depends on the persons in the office, but a good thing is the IATA agency and the standards that come with it. DG training is mandatory, even more today than it was back in the 70s. It is much more organised today and times have changed, When I was in the ops business, PanAm offered courses in HNL, MIA anmd JFK, with first class transport from Germany and back. Fancy, but the traning was good. Now, usually the trainees don't leave town. even stay at the airport or go to Moerfelden Walldorf. But the point is, they learn the details and they get teached the awareness., The latter might be even more important. And finally, whatever the cargo agents does in pre-checking, the airline or the airline handling agent does the double checking.

The EK incident seems to have been caused by a reckless passenger, EK runs a highly respected cargo business and they do their job. The UPS 744 accident was an integrator flight and their business model is vulnerable to such causes. That's where the real danger is.
powered by Eierlikör
 
coolum
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:24 pm

RE: EK308 : Battery Causes Fire On Board / Diversion

Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:43 am

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 37):
Can only share my experience of paranoid behaviour here (even though i'm always pro safety): Took a flight from KIX to OKA. Carried one lighter in my trouser, one in my check in bag. Been called out on the loudspeakers to report to Gate XX asap. Went there, they brought my bag and needed 3 more people to translate into English that my check in bag contains a "suspicious" item. Police openend the bag and removed the lighter - i had to sign some paperwork about not claiming the item back, about security regulations etc. Even after trying to convince them that a normal (non gasoline) lighter is totally fine and even showing them their own poster of "forbidden items" they refused.

This should happen at any airport in the world (while admittedly it probably doesn't).
You are allowed either 1 x lighter or box of matches only to be carried on your person.
I have had numerous occasions in the past where we've taken a passenger to one side with their baggage and had to have dangerous items removed. (classic example, is camping gas cylinders)

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 34):
As far as i know the products in Dubai are usually original brands and not fony bad copies.

You would then be very surprised about the amount of fake/dodgy copies of anything (including electronics), that you can pick up anywhere in Dubai.

I agree with others on here, that completely banning all Li batteries on aircraft is unrealistic, there still needs to be some tighter regulations.
The new IATA regs coming in next year are a step in the right direction, but I wonder if these are still going to be good enough.
I do think there is a need to make passengers more aware of the dangers. The only info I have seen is a pamphlet available for download on the IATA website
( https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/Documents/LithiumBattery_PassengerFlyer.jpg )

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 37):
Well there are specific regulations by IATA, operator and state variations etc to the batteries connected to wheelchairs. I think pretty much every major airline already allows these to only be loaded if battery is disconnected, may it be for the simple fact that it is impossible to move by itself or the fact that this battery is dangerous

And these regs are becoming stricter next year with DGR edition 54
Coolum