Large lithium battery as cabin baggage?

Tim Good

Well-known member
Joined
26 Feb 2010
Messages
2,800
Location
Bristol
Visit site
The UK aviation authority says you can't have a lithium battery above 100wh on board a plane. However there are quite a few things listed by the aviation authority which don't seem to be policed particularly.

Has anyone travelled with an electric outboard batter before and got away with it?
 

Ceirwan

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jul 2007
Messages
1,053
Visit site
I'm pretty certain you wouldn't get it through.

They generally ask you to take all electrical items out of your bag before they go through the scanner. I wouldn't want to risk it.
 

Thistle

Well-known member
Joined
2 Oct 2004
Messages
3,927
Location
Here
Visit site
Surely such rules are there for your safety, the safety of other passengers and crew and, ultimately, the safety of the aircraft? If anyone were to try to break such rules on any aircraft I was on, I would hope that they would be refused permission to fly and blacklisted for a substantial period of time.
 

Gwylan

Well-known member
Joined
31 May 2007
Messages
3,651
Location
Moved ashore
Visit site
Bit bothered that you ask the question. We all know you must be alright. You have a boat so must be a gentleman.
Cannot be too sure about all those types who turn right.

Would you really like the idea of being on a plane where someone has the capability to start a fire?
 

Tim Good

Well-known member
Joined
26 Feb 2010
Messages
2,800
Location
Bristol
Visit site
I suppose your right. However the instances lithium batteries have had issues is usually is when they're recharged, often phones and such like, especially when they've been flat for a long while.

Anyway as you say, rules are their for a reason.
 

greeny

Well-known member
Joined
15 Jun 2004
Messages
2,205
Location
Portugal
Visit site
It's not only about CAA regulations which have tight controls on lithium battery cargo. Individual airlines also have their own rules which are usually more restrictive than the regulations. Most ban lithium batteries unless they are installed in the device they are intended for.
Lithium is a particularly volatile material in battery form and I can't believe you're considering taking it without the correct permissions and paperwork in place.
If you really must try to take it, ask the airline before travelling but I suspect the answer will be no.
 

boomerangben

Well-known member
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Messages
1,165
Location
Isle of Lewis
Visit site
Lithium batteries are rightly tightly controlled across the whole aviation industry worldwide. It’s not recharging that causes the risk, it is the risk of short circuit. Lithium batteries have been thought to have been the cause of a number of fatal crashes in big (in one case a 747) aircraft. Lithium buttery fires cannot be easily extinguished either.
 

Buck Turgidson

Well-known member
Joined
10 Apr 2012
Messages
3,235
Location
Zürich
Visit site
The UK aviation authority says you can't have a lithium battery above 100wh on board a plane. However there are quite a few things listed by the aviation authority which don't seem to be policed particularly.

Has anyone travelled with an electric outboard batter before and got away with it?

When you say "get away with it" do you mean didn't bring down the aircraft killing all on board?
 

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
39,842
Location
Essex
Visit site
On my recent travels with Emirates much of the information time on the screen was occupied with messages telling passengers who had dropped their mobile phones not to adjust their seats but to summon staff. Clearly, they are very concerned about the fire risk from any batteries and are not going to take any chances.
 

superheat6k

Well-known member
Joined
10 Jan 2012
Messages
6,715
Location
South Coast
Visit site
I have researched this today for a forthcoming holiday as I wanted a battery pack to power my MacBook. 160WH x 2 items per passenger is the current limit for aircraft cabins in hand baggage, you can convert this to MAH by diving by the voltage and multiplying by 1000. They are not allowed in checked baggage.
 

crisjones

Active member
Joined
5 Apr 2005
Messages
418
Location
Liveaboard, currently Caribbean Islands
Visit site
Lithium batteries are rightly tightly controlled across the whole aviation industry worldwide. It’s not recharging that causes the risk, it is the risk of short circuit. Lithium batteries have been thought to have been the cause of a number of fatal crashes in big (in one case a 747) aircraft. Lithium buttery fires cannot be easily extinguished either.

Perhaps you would like to point us to the relevant CAA reports about these fatal crashes so we can form our own opinions? - Apart from the obvious Boeing battery problems that are well known but did not cause any fatalities as far as I remember.

I fully understand why airlines have rules about lithium batteries but the rules are aimed at phone, tablet and backup batteries for those devices - such batteries are very high energy density chemistries and they have been shown to be very dangerous in certain circumstances or conditions - hence the restrictions. An outboard battery like the OP is asking about is a much safer chemistry and no where near as volatile but as far as the airlines are concerned it is still a lithium battery. Personally I would be quite happy flying on a plane with a Torquedo (or similar) battery in hold or cabin baggage - if it is not connected to anything and is properly packaged it is just as safe as some items that are allowed on board without restriction.
I am not suggesting the OP should break the rules, merely pointing out that the blanket policy of the airlines is far easier for them to police than to make exceptions for Lithium batteries that can be safely transported.
 

pagoda

Active member
Joined
19 May 2008
Messages
2,227
Location
Scotland
Visit site
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Aircraft_Fire_Risk_from_Battery-powered_Items_Carried_on_Aircraft

Some of us work in the industry and are properly informed. Others try to "get away with it".

I worked in the Oil&gas business where lithium batteries were regularly used for their high performance. All manner of dangerous goods declarations were required for ship transfers and flying was seriously restricted to freight flights in small quantities... with prior notice.
We did some discharge tests on the (D size) cells we used regularly. Dead shorts were capable of raising very high temperatures which caused chain reaction in adjacent cells. Result - quite powerful fiery explosion which as pointed out cannot be readily extinguished.

Don't even consider flying this stuff without proper preparation and documentation within regs..
 

anoccasionalyachtsman

Well-known member
Joined
15 Jun 2015
Messages
4,174
Visit site
Lithium batteries are rightly tightly controlled across the whole aviation industry worldwide. It’s not recharging that causes the risk, it is the risk of short circuit. Lithium batteries have been thought to have been the cause of a number of fatal crashes in big (in one case a 747) aircraft. Lithium buttery fires cannot be easily extinguished either.

Two 747s in fact, UPS in Dubai 2010 and Asiana in the Korean Straits in 2011.
 

greeny

Well-known member
Joined
15 Jun 2004
Messages
2,205
Location
Portugal
Visit site
I have researched this today for a forthcoming holiday as I wanted a battery pack to power my MacBook. 160WH x 2 items per passenger is the current limit for aircraft cabins in hand baggage, you can convert this to MAH by diving by the voltage and multiplying by 1000. They are not allowed in checked baggage.

That may be the CAA regulation limits for Dangerous goods by air, but is it the airline you're flying with's rules. They do differ significantly in most cases. Did you research on CAA rules or did you ask the specific airline?
 

Zing

Well-known member
Joined
7 Feb 2014
Messages
7,963
Visit site
You can’t ship these things by airfreight anywhere in the world in a plane with a crew of 2. I am pretty sure no airline permits them. It’s going to be even less OK in an aircraft with 300 souls.
 

greeny

Well-known member
Joined
15 Jun 2004
Messages
2,205
Location
Portugal
Visit site
Both - CAA & American Airlines.

I'm surprised they allow you to carry 160 wH onboard.
Normally up to 100 wH is ok.
100 - 160 needs special prior permission of the airline.
Over 160 wH needs to presented to a Dangerous goods by air carrier and packed correctly with all the correct supporting paperwork and then carried in the hold in a special storage area. Not all planes have this facility available.
As I said though, each airline may enforce its own rules as it seems fit.
Checking with your airline and getting "special permission" allows you to carry your 160wH batteries. which you seem to have done.
If the OP turns up without permission granted I'm sure he will be refused carriage.
 

boomerangben

Well-known member
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Messages
1,165
Location
Isle of Lewis
Visit site
The incidents were all overseas and happened to foreign operators so the UK CAA (or more accurately the AAIB Air Accident Investigation Branch - the CAA don’t do accident investigating) don’t have those reports. Dangerous goods regulations are set by ICAO and IATA and are enforced by national civil aviation authorities. Operators can set their own, more stringent rules. As a professional pilot, I have to undergo dangerous goods training every 24 months and have just done it. The accidents were highlighted in that training and someone has already mentioned two of them in another reply. In the past I have transported all sorts of dangerous goods, including radioactive sources and lithium batteries. Spare computer, camera and batteries for consumer goods can be carried as long as certain limits and conditions are met and these are well documented when buying tickets and at check in. The bottom line is this: if you accidentally or indeed were so minded, deliberately shorted a lithium battery big enough to power an outboard you could cause some serious damage. Sadly regulations have to be set to protect the innocent from the negligent or malicious and frustrate the honest
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
24,167
Location
SW Scotland
Visit site
We did some discharge tests on the (D size) cells we used regularly. Dead shorts were capable of raising very high temperatures which caused chain reaction in adjacent cells. Result - quite powerful fiery explosion which as pointed out cannot be readily extinguished.

Have you ever tried clipping two standard (ie alkaline) PP3 batteries together? The results are interesting. Don't try it indoors. Don't hang around.
 
Top