Qantas A388 over Mexico on May 15th 2016, mobile phone battery smoking
Last Update: August 25, 2016 / 23:22:58 GMT/Zulu time
On May 23rd 2016 Australia's TSB (ATSB) reported the occurrence, dated at May 16th 2016 15:35Z (which rendered this the return flight QF-8 from Dallas to Sydney enroute near Fiji), was rated a serious incident, the ATSB opened an investigation.
On Aug 25th 2016 the ATSB released their brief final report still reporting the occurrence on May 16th 2016 15:35Z in the occurrence details' table, but clearly referencing flight QF7 of May 15th 2016 in the narrative (which passed the provided position N28.99 W111.61 at FL390 on May 15th 15:35Z indeed). The ATSB did not release a formal conclusion but following safety message:
This incident provides an excellent example of an effective response to an emergency situation. The crew were able to quickly implement the basic fire drill procedure which defined the roles and responsibilities of the responding crew. This enabled a rapid and coordinated response to the smoke event using all available resources. The effective implementation of this procedure also ensured the flight crew were kept informed as the situation developed.
This incident also highlights the hazards of transporting lithium-ion battery powered PEDs. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority web page "Travelling safely with batteries" and pamphlet "Is your luggage safe?" provide information on the safe carriage of lithium-ion batteries and lithium-ion powered devices aboard aircraft.
The ATSB reported about two hours prior to estimated landing in Dallas Ft. Worth a passenger alerted cabin crew to smoke in the cabin, the flight attendants started their basic fire drill, two flight attendants proceeded to the source of the smoke with fire extinguishers, the service manager made an all stations call to alert flight crew and all cabin crew to the presence of smoke. The source of smoke was located at seat 19F in Zone F at the upper deck. The crew removed the seat cushions and covers from seat 19F, while the cabin manager switched off all electric supplies to the center column of seats. After further dismantling of the seat cabin crew found a crushed personal electronic device (PED) wedged tightly into the seat's mechanism and assessed the PED contained a Lithium battery. The battery, at that time, was no longer emitting smoke, however a strong acrid smell remained in the cabin. The crew maneouvered the seat and freed the PED, then put the PED into a jug of water, which was further put into a metal box and was being monitored for the remainder of the flight.
The ATSB commented they have received notifications of 17 similiar occurrences over the course of 6 years.
Aircraft Registration Data
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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