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Thread: Lithium Shipments

  1. #1
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    Default Lithium Shipments

    Saw a bit on TV that made me wonder. They say pallets of lithium batteries are loaded in cargo holds. They also say under certain circumstances, batteries can explode. Made me wonder immediately two things: (1) If pilots ever worry about such a cargo; (2) What is the hurry in these shipments that they don't just load them on container ships?

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    IATA forbids the transport of lithium ion batteries in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft

    "With effect 1 April 2016 all lithium ion cells and batteries shipped by themselves (UN 3480) are forbidden for transport as cargo on passenger aircraft. All packages prepared in accordance with Packing Instruction 965, Section IA, IB and II, must bear a Cargo Aircraft Only label, in addition to existing labels"

    https://www.icra2016.org/wp-content/...nt-2016-en.pdf

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    Lithium is a chemical element with symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable, and is stored in mineral oil. When cut open, it exhibits a metallic luster, but moist air corrodes it quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black tarnish. It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds, such as pegmatitic minerals which were once the main source of lithium. Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines. Lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Maybe if you make sure that you don't crash (or ditch) into water, the reaction won't be too awful bad. Clear memories from HS chem class...the stuff would sit there and smoke as it reacted with atmospheric moisture...but no big reaction until teach dumped it into the beaker of water...then a nice, albeit miniature, fireworks show.

    The Lithium battery stuff is a different deal...those are pretty cool (and a bit hard on 787 paint jobs and personal electronic devices).
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lena01 View Post
    Lithium is a chemical element with symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable, and is stored in mineral oil. When cut open, it exhibits a metallic luster, but moist air corrodes it quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black tarnish. It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds, such as pegmatitic minerals which were once the main source of lithium. Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines. Lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.
    Are you Wikipedia?
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashcrash View Post
    IATA forbids the transport of lithium ion batteries in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft

    "With effect 1 April 2016 all lithium ion cells and batteries shipped by themselves (UN 3480) are forbidden for transport as cargo on passenger aircraft. All packages prepared in accordance with Packing Instruction 965, Section IA, IB and II, must bear a Cargo Aircraft Only label, in addition to existing labels"

    https://www.icra2016.org/wp-content/...nt-2016-en.pdf
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This incident was said to be as a result of Lithium battery ignition. That aircraft sure looks like a passenger aircraft to me. ! Someone is either telling porkies about the content of the shipment or American Airlines needs to read IATA instructions.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Or the photo is old? Do you know its age?

    I think the banning of lithium batteries on passenger aircraft is fairly recent. Because prior to them catching fire several times in cargo holds, nobody knew lithium could be dangerous.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

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    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Last week. October 9th 2017 !!
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    Last week. October 9th 2017 !!
    Do you have more information about this incident or some link? I am very interested in learning more.

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