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FAA Urges Airlines to Assess Lithium Battery Risks

Discussion in 'News' started by Nick Nicholson, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Nick Nicholson

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    FAA Urges Airlines to Assess Lithium Battery Risks
    February 9- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a safety alert to U.S. and foreign commercial passenger and cargo airlines, urging them to conduct a safety risk assessment to manage the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries as cargo. The FAA also is issuing guidance to its own inspectors to help them determine whether the airlines have adequately assessed the risk of handling and carrying lithium batteries as cargo.

    FAA battery fire testing has highlighted the potential risk of a catastrophic aircraft loss due to damage resulting from a lithium battery fire or explosion. Current cargo fire suppression systems cannot effectively control a lithium battery fire. As a result of those tests, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus have advised airlines about the dangers associated with carrying lithium batteries as cargo and also have encouraged them to conduct safety risk assessments.

    Hazardous materials rules currently ban passenger airlines from carrying lithium-metal batteries as cargo. In addition, a number of large commercial passenger airlines have decided voluntarily not to carry rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries. The safety risk assessment process is designed to identify and mitigate risks for the airlines that still carry lithium batteries and to help those that don't carry them from inadvertently accepting them for transport.

    The FAA's Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) (PDF) encourages airlines that previously conducted safety assessments to reevaluate them in light of new evidence from the agency's recent lithium battery fire tests.
     
  2. Phatzo

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    wow... will this make travelling with I1 and multiple batteries impossible?
    why is this so overhyped? - or am i missing something -
    in general i would deplete all batteries not leave one in the AC, put them in a lipobag and both into a pelicase which i would take into the cabin and give it to personel for storage if needed. also i would consult with airline and inform them. why is it such a big risk /issue if can be made safe?

    please excuse my ignorance and teach me if i am missing something.

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  3. ATU

    ATU

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    Business idea.. Battery rental !
    When one door closes, another door opens.

    Guess we'll see how the policies change over time, but I wouldn't get too hyped about it.
     
  4. Phatzo

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    i am not. if i fly away with my AC and take my tb48 - 5400mah and the aux batteries with me i will likely be going with staff which can take 2/person :) so that would be not a so huge problem. battery rental is a good idea but the trust is low on this imo because one does not know the condition or way of treatment they have gone through.



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  5. ATU

    ATU

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    Same, I never go away on shoots alone so not an issue for me at least for now unless they ban lithium batteries completely.
    Thankfully with the intelligent batteries the Inspires are running on, there are some statistics we can look into. Another method I guess could be past customer feedback.. Like how much money can we trust eBay sellers with depending on how many happy customers they have and how they handle customer issues.
     
  6. Phatzo

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    problem might be one customer leaves feedback - negative - my AC fell from the sky due to battery error - where it could lead to the end of the business of that person altoght the pilot might have done something wrong like not warming it up properly... just a pesimistic example :)
    of course the good side is that like you said statistics can be made and with healthy drones or sililar reliable data can be forged :)

    until yet i did not have to go on a manned flight with my AC and batteries.


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  7. m00se

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    no more travelling with laptops and other such devices then
     
  8. damoncooper

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    I'm not sure what the concern is in this thread. You can't travel with batteries in cargo on any airline anyplace now that I'm aware of.

    Carry on isn't the focus of the FAA request for reassessment.
     
  9. Kiwi53

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    Lithium Ion vs Litium Polymer. Most laptops packs are built from 18650 cells. They are inherently safe. Lithium polymer on the other hand is volatile regardless of charge condition etc.
     
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  10. Murray Milne

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    Damon Cooper is correct, the article is about cargo, and the current rule is no lithium battery can be carried as cargo in a pax flight, they can only be taken as hand luggage within the current Wh and batteries-per-passenger restrictions
     
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  11. Dave Birss

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    Just finished a UAV training course and transport of battries by airlines was very interesting. As for travelling as a team and carrying 2 x TB48 each the airline can in fact insist that each person with battries must also have an aircraft checked in as cargo.
     
  12. ATU

    ATU

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    Interesting.. that would effectively limit each craft to 2x TB48s only (no limit on TB47s tho) but quite honestly, no where in the IATA's DG regulation states that you cannot travel with batteries that you do not have the equipment it is meant for. Guess it is up to the individual airlines to apply this restriction.
     
  13. damoncooper

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    That's the rule now
     
  14. ATU

    ATU

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    It would be interesting to see how that is implemented. Say if I reach the security check and they ask me if I have a drone (never mind if they even know what model of battery is meant for what model of drone) in checked baggage and I say yes, how would they know otherwise? It would be time and cost prohibitive for security & airline to verify every instance of LiPo batteries >100WH that are being carried onboard has to match the model it is meant for. I am not based in US now so I may not have a full picture of how it is like to fly within US now.
     
  15. FangsCPO

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    Has anyone ever been down wind of a lipo battery going up in smoke?? Imagine one catching fire and then the ones next to it....2-3 additionally batteries catching fire. That smoke is nothing to laugh it....it smells like crap and it's poisonous. Personally, I don't want to be locked up in a airplane cabin with a lipo battery smoking away. Yikes!!!