Phones on planes – the danger

Phones on planes – the danger

As most of you who know me know, I am on planes a lot. Yesterday I flew home from Sydney on my last flight before I go on leave on Tuesday. It was interesting for me that 3 people around me lost their phone during the flight and had to call over the cabin crew to help them retrieve them.

It was therefore with interest that I read this morning that a phone caught fire after being caught up in a seat.

CASA is reported to have said the number of such incidents on aircraft was growing because of the increasingly slimline design of smartphones and the increased power of batteries within them.

This latest incident has prompted QANTAS to issue a reminder to passengers not to attempt to pick up any electronic devices dropped during the flight.

In its investigation into the 2016 incident, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) cited the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s guidelines which warn of the risk posed by lithium batteries.

“Lithium batteries are capable of ignition and subsequent explosion due to overheating,” the administration said.

“Overheating results in thermal runaway, which is a chemical reaction within the battery causing the internal temperature and pressure to rise.

“The result is the release of a flammable electrolyte from the battery and, in the case of disposable lithium batteries, the release of molten burning lithium.”

The three phones on this latest flight all had one thing in common and that was they did not have a non slip case. One of the phones slipped during take off, another on landing and the other was just dropped down the side of the seat.

Stay safe by following the rules and asking for help if you cannot find your own phone.

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