An advisory panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended strict actions for discouraging bulk shipment of lithium batteries through commercial planes.
The recommendations were published by the ICAO on October 1, after a recent meeting of the advisory group was held in Cologne, Germany, in September.
The group has also suggested to re-assess the fire detection systems in terms of their ability of respond quickly and to limit the battery shipments to cargo compartments with excellent fire-suppression capability.
In July 2010, 2 people were killed after a shipment of batteries caught fire and caused a Boeing Co 747 cargo plane, operated by United Parcel Service Inc., to crash in Dubai.
An underwater locator beacon (ULB) such as the one on the black boxes (CVR) Cockpit Voice Recorder and FDR (Flight Data Recorder) of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on 37.5 kHz for about 30 days at 4°C temperature. They run on lithium-ion batteries, and “mileage” may vary; 30 days is the minimum expectation. This is all relevant to today’s news because the Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 which is one of the ships equipped with a pinger locator, has heard a ping in the South Indian Ocean.
The particular frequency was selected because it is not one that occurs in nature.
Although Malaysia Airlines told the public that “This battery is not replaceable,” the ULB batteries had been scheduled for battery replacement in 2012, but were not replaced by Dukane Seacom, the original equipment manufacturer of the beacons. (Dukane Seacom either replaces the entire pinger or installed new batteries.) If replacement was not performed by toe OEM or other parties, the actual ping time may be less than 30 days.
One ping in an ocean does not a discovery make. The wreckage has not been located, nor the ping confirmed. But we can still hope this is a step in the right direction.
During an early inspection of the 787 in Takamatsu by Japanese officials, the battery’s electrolyte had leaked from the lithium-ion battery.
The charred insides of the battery show the battery received voltage in excess of its design limits.
In October 2011, the FAA issued an emergency order requiring lithium ion batteries in 42 Cessna Citation CJ4 to be replaced with nickel-cadmium or lead-acid batteries, after a connection with a ground power station led to overcharging and a fire.
Wait…was this human error and not battery error? Or a combination of both?
On January 7, 2013, a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner Japan-Boston had already landed in Boston, and all 184 passengers had safely disembarked when smoke filled the cabin.
A fire was found in a battery aboard the plane. Boston Firefighters arrived at 10:40 a.m. and put out the fire.
Passengers were provided alternative transportation and overnight accommodations.
Electrical issues in the avionics bay where the battery is located are a known issue in this type of plane, which uses electrical motors instead of hydraulics in certain areas. The auxiliary battery in the compartment kicks in after the engine kicks off. That’s what happened on test flights, and from what I have heard, that is what happened here.
In George’s Point of View
Let’s slow down with this great plane. Let’s get the kinks out of it before we put humans on too many of these Dreamliners. Let them stay Dreamliner and not become Nightmareliners. United is starting service but are these planes really ready? There have been engine problems and some spooky events. We don’t read too much about them, but I know they have occurred. I love this plane, I want to fly all over the world in it, and if I live long enough, I will, but, is it ready?
According to the NTSB report below, the NTSB seems to agree with me that incidents like this warrant investigation.
WASHINGTON– Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are gathering information regarding reports of smoke aboard a Boeing 787 at Boston’s Logan Airport today.
The Japan Airlines 787 was on the ground and empty of passengers at the time of the incident.
The NTSB has dispatched an investigator to Boston. Based on a review of the factual information gathered, the NTSB will determine the extent of its investigation. Video Below
What: A-310 Airbus en route to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Where: Stephenville International Airport, Canada When: Dec 16, 2010 Who: 8 crew Why: Overheating batteries convinced a pilot to land the privately owned airbus at Stephenville International Airport.
After landing, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police met the jet on the tarmac. The crew will be staying at local hotels until the plane is repaired.
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