Your Batteries Could Take Down A Plane

Ready for mass hysteria? Apparently the FAA has acknowledged that airplane cargo holds can get hot enough to cause lithium batteries to ignite. And there's more! There was a large quantity of such batteries on a plane that crashed recently:

The Federal Aviation Administration also acknowledged publicly for the first time Friday that a United Parcel Service 747-400 plane that crashed in Dubai last month killing both pilots was carrying a large quantity of lithium batteries.

Since the early 1990s, there have been dozens of incidents of batteries igniting in flight. But it has not been known what triggered many of the fires.

Now this announcement doesn't exactly seem like it's revealing anything novel. After all, batteries come with plenty of warnings regarding the temperature ranges they can tolerate and airplane cargo holds have little to no climate control—it makes sense that combining the two isn't a great idea.

What is fresh and new about this announcement is the potential for an extra huge wave of public hysteria and crazy demands that we leave our batteries off planes entirely despite cabins being air-conditioned. [Chicago Breaking Business via Slashdot]

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