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Old 03-30-2016, 02:04 PM   #1  
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Default Lithium Batteries...Who carries them?

I would like to compile an informal list of carriers who transport lithium batteries; what special measures they take to do so; pilot comments about the issue; management responses; any reports of incidents and new developments in research or regulation of lithium batteries.

Thank you.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:29 PM   #2  
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Atlas. They just dump them on the jet, they don't need to be declared, and the company has no added safety devices like Purple. 747 main deck has no fire suppression. I've had over 100 tons of them onboard. Fun stuff.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:32 PM   #3  
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Nippon Cargo.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:40 PM   #4  
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Kalitta Air
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:04 AM   #5  
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FedEx. The only restrictions on carriage for us is that the batteries cannot be loaded on the same pallet or container as Accessible DG (DG that must be located in crew accessible locations and crew inspected prior to departure). The batteries can be loaded in the position right next to the class 1 explosive pallet - just not mixed in with them....so, we got that going for us.....which is nice.

The batteries do not have to be crew accessible (and frequently are not) and can even be loaded in belly positions if properly blocked/secured.

In the past few years, we started being notified that they are on board. They are identified as class 9 miscellaneous which is the same category as dry ice and magnetized material. So, we do at least know which pallets have the potential to burn through the bottom of the aircraft.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:25 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandlerKid View Post
747 main deck has no fire suppression.
Candler, doesn't the 747 have the same thing as a basic 777F with a main deck fire warning. Arm and activate the appropriate compartment switches and get a controlled depressurization? Obviously a rather cheap way to possibly buy some extra time at altitude if a suitable divert is not conveniently close by.

I realize that's probably not going to do much with a runaway battery situation, just curious if that's an optional system Atlas went without.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:37 AM   #7  
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Pretty much every non-passenger cargo airline.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:55 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adlerdriver View Post
Candler, doesn't the 747 have the same thing as a basic 777F with a main deck fire warning. Arm and activate the appropriate compartment switches and get a controlled depressurization? Obviously a rather cheap way to possibly buy some extra time at altitude if a suitable divert is not conveniently close by.
That's correct. The 747-400 has NO fire suppression on the main cargo deck. The controlled depressurization you mentioned brings the main cargo deck up to 25,000 ft, theoretically starving the fire of oxygen. The only problem is that when lithium batteries burn, they produce their own oxygen. In other words, if you have a runaway lithium battery fire on the main deck, you are in deep kimchee.

You've got about 15 minutes to get the plane on the deck somewhere/anywhere. Whether that's the ocean or some other piece of real estate, it doesn't matter, because you are going down one way or another.

At UPS, we practiced this 15 minute emergency landing scenario during past recurrent training. It's doable if you're basically right on top of an appropriate airfield, otherwise your options are limited to immediate ditching or an attempted landing in a "less than optimal" location. God help us all.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:30 PM   #9  
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Lithium batteries scare me more than flying into a hostile area, no question about it.

I'd rather be shot at by some knucklehead than have a lithium battery runaway.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:41 PM   #10  
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How close is UPS to using the reported newly designed containers? My understanding is that they supposedly are capable of containing a lithium battery runaway fire.

Thanks all for the input.
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