tp1040
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Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:56 pm

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
 
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cjg225
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:40 pm

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)?
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srbmod
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:52 pm

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.
 
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EK413
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:39 pm

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.

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litz
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:09 pm

Hang on a sec... They dumped a malfunctioning LITHIUM battery into cold water?
 
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cjg225
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:15 pm

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...
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B6JFKH81
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:42 pm

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  
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nws2002
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:30 pm

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]
 
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Aesma
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:47 pm

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.
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dtw2hyd
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:59 pm

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.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:14 pm

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.
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cschleic
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:24 pm

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?
 
dtw2hyd
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:56 pm

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]
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:14 pm

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?
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cjg225
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:40 am

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]
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boeingguy26
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:27 am

Way to draw the attention of readers with the Lithium Ion statement.
 
shamrock137
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:54 am

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.
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plunaaircanada
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:22 am

lol The thread title made me think of the 787. I forgot AA doesn't have any 787's in service yet.  
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Burj
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:41 am

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"
 
Kaiarahi
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:08 am

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.
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ozguy
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:25 pm

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.
 
jayunited
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:46 pm

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?
 
Burj
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:05 am

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....
 
Burj
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:08 am

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!
 
Kaiarahi
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:22 am

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).
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Aesma
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RE: Lithium Battery Problem On Board AA

Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:35 pm

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