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NTSB Lithium Batteries as Cargo on Aircraft Feb 9, 2016

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NTSB Lithium Batteries as Cargo on Aircraft Feb 9, 2016

Old 19th Feb 2016, 19:21
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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I believe we are in agreement with regard to the causes of the problems with lithium batteries. The tragedy is that all too frequently the solution to any problem is seen as a ban or prohibition. The very devices that are supposed to enrich and ease our lives end up enslaving us or potentially just ending our lives prematurely.

Given the ease with which equipment can be counterfeited and manufactured from substandard components, I must reluctantly concede that a ban may be the only way workable way forward in the short term. Just another erosion of our personal freedoms. Going to be awkward demonstrating that electrical devices work before boarding without a battery though.

No smoking, no liquids, no sharp objects, no non-functional electrical devices, no batteries... Might as well fly naked, after a cavity search of course.

I can remember when flying was a joyous experience and looked forward to every flight. Now it is just a drudge, arriving two hours early, queuing for security checks, climbing aboard a plastic plane and eating and drinking from plastic containers with plastic cutlery, if you pay the extra food and drink surcharge. A very sad state of affairs.
G0ULI is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2016, 20:35
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by G0ULI
"Banning what many passengers regard as essential consumer devices for business or holiday use would be pointless....Given the ease with which equipment can be counterfeited and manufactured from substandard components, I must reluctantly concede that a ban may be the only way workable way "
These are both good points and illustrate the inherent conflict. Banning all li-ion powered consumer devices would mean no cell phones, no portable music players, no laptops, no tablets, no Kindles, no cameras, etc.

You can't validate these at the airport since many of the batteries are internal, and cut-rate external batteries look just like the OEM versions.

The only li-ion device I have had go into thermal runaway was a Logitech Harmony One TV remote, which had the OEM battery in it. Without warning it started smoking and become so hot I couldn't hold it. The LCD was melted and discolored and so was the plastic chassis. It was never dropped, mistreated or modified in any way. The battery was tiny relative an an 18650 -- I'd hate to see one of those experience the same failure mode.

From an individual standpoint, you can always use high quality OEM batteries and chargers but even that is no guarantee and it seems impossible to enforce.

There is no good answer for this situation.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 22:18
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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That sounds as though it failed 'safe'. If it didn't explode and there were no flames then the battery passed the safety spec. Thermal runaway is always possible, it's what happens next that is the problem. Obviously, if it's in your pocket when it gets hot you might have an unpleasant experience, but leaving it on a heat-resistant surface until it's dissipated all the stored energy ought to be OK in an aircraft. Getting it to such a place from the middle of a crowded aircraft cabin might be an issue - how heat resistant is a seat-back tray table?
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Old 20th Feb 2016, 00:27
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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This probably won't come as a huge surprise to anyone here, but the US Product Safety Commission has issued a report that basically says "no hoverboard currently on the market can be considered safe."

News report here


I know hoverboards are already banned as either carry-on or checked baggage on a number of airlines. Hopefully this will swing airlines who haven't taken such a move, and in a bigger picture, trigger some industry groups to develop robust standards on product quality and safety, not just for these things (which may just be a "fad"), but for others as well. We can hope, anyway...
I can remember when flying was a joyous experience and looked forward to every flight. Now it is just a drudge, arriving two hours early, queuing for security checks, climbing aboard a plastic plane and eating and drinking from plastic containers with plastic cutlery, if you pay the extra food and drink surcharge. A very sad state of affairs.
I agree completely, what a change in just the last 10 years, never mind the last 20 or 30...
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