When we level for cruise, the flight attendants start making their way through the cabin I’m already halfway through the current SkyMall. The guy next to me reaches for his laptop, after he elbows me one to many times I realize he’s pulling out a dell. Why counldn’t he have pulled out anythingother than a dell. Just hours ago I read about another dell laptop bursting into flame (first one). Images of a laptop catching fire in midflight started flying through my head. Seriously, why did he have to buy a dell? Though there have been others it just seems that dell is more prone.
Needless to say, my flight ended safely. But it did get me thinking. Thousands of laptops are carried on thousands of flights per day. Odds are, one of these days a laptop battery is going to go poof midflight. If not on it’s own, it wouldn’t take much for a terrorist to put a laptop battery into it’s “self destruct in a large ball of fire” mode. If one were to modify a Li-Ion battery removing it’s overcurrent/temp protection circut and then short the cells, it wouldn’t take long to have a meltdown of the case followed by a shower of sparks and fire. And this is one of the most common items on a plane.
Scary aint it?
Do you think further precautions should be taken in regard to Lithium-Ion batterys in air travel? The FAA/NTSB has already put limits on shipping non-rechargeable li-ion batteriesÂ via air. Do you think laptop batteries should have to be in checked luggage?
I’ll look for some video of a li-ion laptop battery catching fire, if you know of one, send me a link.