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Cargo - Dangerous goods

Page history last edited by Béatrice H. Alves 6 years, 6 months ago




Lexical domain

customs, type of cargo, (perishable) organs for transplant, toxic substances, handling, packaging, veterinary services, police search, sniffer dogs, load badly fixed or damaged, intercepting, impounding

animals, smells, cabin equipment, load distribution, loading/unloading



Loading - Unloading

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CG problem


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Fire while loading


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Dangerous luggage - Hairspray


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Dangerous luggage - Fireworks


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ICAO considers checked baggage laptop ban over fire concern

ICAO is considering amending its dangerous goods instructions to largely ban large personal electronic devices (PEDs) from checked baggage after US FAA’s Fire Safety Branch reported “troubling” results from tests conducted on potential fire risks to commercial aircraft from laptops in checked baggage.

Results of FAA’s testing, conducted over the summer and previously made public in an “Information for Operators” bulletin issued by the agency in July, were included in a report released during a meeting of ICAO’s Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) that concluded Oct. 27 in Montreal.

The FAA test results have led to the drafting of language by DGP that would amend ICAO’s dangerous goods instructions to ban large PEDs from checked baggage.


The DGP said the tests indicate “that large PEDs in checked baggage mixed with an aerosol can produce an explosion and fire that the aircraft cargo fire suppression system … may not be able to safely manage. Globally, there are aircraft in the commercial fleet that do not have the same level of cargo fire suppression in the cargo hold, which places passengers in greater jeopardy if a PED catches fire in checked baggage.”

Read more about it on ATW Online



Lithium Ion Batteries

Read the article on the Mail Online


Qantas, Jetstar ban lithium ion battery shipments as cargo

19 March 2015 

Lithium battery fire on a laptop (CAA)



According to Australian news reports, lithium ion batteries will no longer be able to be sent as cargo on board Qantas and Jetstar aircraft.

The Australian reports that the ban applies to batteries packed on their own, rather than those packed with electronic equipment. Passengers are still able to carry lithium ion batteries, both inside electronic devices like tablets and laptops as well as spare batteries, on board as carry-on luggage.

The move comes after the Qantas Group conducted a new safety assessment. There is industry wide concern on  lithium ion batteries since overheating of these batteries could result in a massive fire. On September 3, 2010 a Boeing 747-400F operated by UPS crashed near Dubai as a result of such a fire.

The ban will in effect on April 1, 2015 and applies to both passenger as well as cargo flights of Qantas and Jetstar.


Read it on the Aviation Safety Network


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Bombproof bag

BombProof Bag.mp4


A new system to resist terrorist bombs smuggled onto aircraft has been tested in dramatic experiments.
A device called FlyBag is designed to absorb the shockwaves and shrapnel caused by explosions.
If security fails and a bomb reaches the luggage hold, the idea is that the blast would be safely contained.
The trials - using old jets at Cotswolds Airport in Gloucestershire - showed that explosions on board caused no damage.
The bag involves a novel mix of four different layers of material including one based on Kevlar, which is used in bullet-proof jackets.
The idea is that the bag is not only lightweight but also strong and flexible enough to handle the energetic effects of a blast without breaking.
Current designs for hardened luggage containers are based on reinforced metal and many airlines have seen them as too heavy and costly. The FlyBag project is funded by the European Commission and is run by a consortium of institutes and specialist companies.

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Animals in the cabin

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Animals in the cargo


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Crash Report: Foiled by Faux Plastic Wrap

Posted byJohn Croft1:05 PM on May 24, 2013


German air investigators this week finally put the wraps on a February 2006 runway excursion of a Falcon 20 at the Kiel-Holtenau Airport in Northern Germany.

The only serious injury from the overshoot was to the 22 year-old Russian flight attendant, but it had nothing (and everything) to do with the crash. There were only minor injuries among the other souls on board – two pilots and three passengers – on the flight from Moscow Domodedovo Airport to London Luton. 

The aircraft, registered in France but operating “by a Russian business aviation company” did not fare as well, coming to rest 100 ft. past the end of the asphalt of the 4,130-ft.-long Runway 08 and 16 ft. down an embankment. 

Based on the events that happened just prior, the outcome was very positive.

According to the accident report, the Falcon had been in the air for 2.5 hours and cruising at Flight Level 380 (approximately 38,000 ft.). That’s when the pilots heard an “explosive bang” the cockpit voice recorder picked up an unusual sound for 4.19 seconds – a “sizzling sound” – which was followed by “screams … from the cabin”, which was followed by the flight attendant asking, “Where is the fire extinguisher?”

German investigators later found out the source of the sizzling. The young flight attendant, whose training consisted of a three-month course in a Russian school for flight attendants and a total flying experience of 36 hours (with 3 hours in the past 90 days) was cleaning up the galley after meal service when the precipitating incident occurred. 

“The statement of the flight attendant indicates that while she was in the galley looking for a roll of plastic wrap she found the pyrotechnical device, unscrewed it, and inadvertently activated it,” the report states. She, unfortunately, received burns to her face and one hand.

Pyrotechnical “device” in this case is putting it mildly – it was a handheld flare. “Powered by a solid fuel rocket it was meant to reach about 300 m (about 1,000 ft.) and let a red flare sink to the ground on a parachute for at least 40 seconds,” says the German Federal Bureau of Accident Investigation (BFU). “The device was meant to be used outdoors for the purpose of signaling an emergency. The manufacturer stated that the activated pyrotechnical device could be extinguished by water. According to the manufacturer the device has to be treated in accordance with the regulations for Dangerous Goods and it is not permitted to transport it in passenger aircraft.”

As you can imagine, things went from bad to worse, with the aircraft filled with smoke and black soot. When the altitude was low enough, the pilots opened a window to exhaust the smoke, but the resulting noise and overall stress level caused them to misinterpret the length of their diversion airport: The controller stated that the runway was 1,260 meters (4,133 ft.); the crew heard 2,600 meters (8,530 ft.), which is why they did not use thrust reversers on the landing rollout.


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The risks of lithium batteries in aircraft cargo

By Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Oct 8th 2010 17:57Z, last updated Friday, Oct 8th 2010 18:11ZThe FAA have released their Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 10017 reporting the risks, that are involved while carrying lithium batteries in aircraft cargo.

The FAA reports, that lithium metal batteries are highly flammable and capable of ignition. Ignition can occur when batteries are being overcharged, short circuits, is exposed to heat, is being mishandled or is otherwise defective. Once a cell is induced into thermal runaway by internal failure or external means (like heating or physical damage), it generates sufficient heat to cause adjacent cell into thermal runway, too. The thermal runaway of a lithium metal cell creates an even more severe event than the thermal runaway of a lithium-ion cell because the lithium metall cell releases a flammable electrolyte mixed with molten lithium metal accompanied by a large pressure pulse. The combination of electrolyte and molten lithium metal can result in an explosive mixture.

On top of that the current fire suppression agent Halon 1301 found in class C cargo compartments is inefficient in controlling a lithium metal cell fire.


Read more


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Load shift?

Several observers on the ground reported the National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 had just lifted off and was climbing through approximately 1200 feet when it's nose sharply rose, the aircraft appeared to have stalled and came down erupting in a blaze.
According to a listener on frequency the crew reported the aircraft stalled due to a possible load shift.


View an animation of what may have happened.

B747 crash animation.MOV


Read about it on the Aviation Herald



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Oxygen genrators (ValuJet 592)


The NTSB investigation eventually determined that the fire that downed Flight 592 began in a cargo compartment below the passenger cabin. The cargo compartment was of a Class D design; whereby fire suppression is accomplished by sealing off the hold from outside air. Any fire in such an airtight compartment will in theory quickly exhaust all available oxygen and then burn itself out. As the fire suppression is accomplished without any intervention by the crew, such holds are not equipped with smoke detectors. However, the NTSB determined that just before takeoff, expired chemical oxygen generators were placed in the cargo compartment in five boxes marked COMAT (Company-owned material) by ValuJet's maintenance contractor, SabreTech, in contravention of FAA regulations forbidding the transport of hazardous materials in aircraft cargo holds. Failure to cover the firing pins for the generators with the prescribed plastic caps made an accidental activation much more likely. Rather than covering the firing pins, the SabreTech workers simply duct taped the cords around the cans, or cut them, and used tape to stick the ends down. It is also possible that the cylindrical, tennis ball can-sized generators were loaded onboard in the mistaken belief that they were just canisters, and that they were empty, thus being certified as safe to transport in an aircraft cargo compartment. SabreTech employees indicated on the cargo manifest that the "canisters" were empty, when in fact they were not.

Chemical oxygen generators, when activated, produce oxygen. As a byproduct of the exothermic chemical reaction, they also produce a great quantity of heat. These two together were sufficient not only to start an accidental fire, but also produce the extra oxygen needed to keep the fire burning, made much worse by the presence of combustible aircraft wheels in the hold. NTSB investigators theorized that when the plane experienced a slight jolt while taxiing on the runway, an oxygen generator unintentionally activated, producing oxygen and heat. Laboratory testing showed that canisters of the same type could heat nearby materials up to 500 °F (260 °C), enough to ignite a smouldering fire. The oxygen from the generators fed the resulting fire in the cargo hold. A pop and jolt heard on the cockpit voice recording and correlated with a brief and dramatic spike in the altimeter reading in the flight data recording were attributed to the sudden cabin pressure change caused by a semi-inflated aircraft wheel in the cargo hold exploding in the fire. (Two main tires and wheels and a nose tire and wheel were also included in the COMAT).

Read more about ValuJet Flight 592


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Bisignani: Response to cargo bombs should be collaborative

By Aaron Karp | November 3, 2010[1]



IATA DG and CEO Giovanni Bisignani called on the world's governments to work collaboratively with the air transport industry in the aftermath of last week's interception of bombs in air cargo shipments and to speed up the development/certification process for new cargo screening technology. Speaking Tuesday at IATA's AVSEC World aviation security conference in Frankfurt, he added that governments could enhance intelligence gathering on airfreight by taking advantage of the vast amounts of data on air cargo that the e-freight push of recent years has made available.

"The events in Yemen (ATW Daily News, Nov. 2) have put cargo security at the top of our agenda," Bisignani stated. "Airfreight drives the world's economy. The products that we carry represent 35% of the total value of goods traded internationally. In 2009, airlines carried 26 million tonnes of international cargo. By 2014, that will increase to 38 million tonnes. Transporting these goods safely, securely and efficiently is critical."

He noted that air cargo security is driven by a "supply chain approach" in which governments and industry cooperate to ensure high-risk cargo is inspected and that cargo remains secure as it moves through the supply chain. Unlike passenger security, much of the cargo security process takes place away from the airport. "Many countries are well advanced on supply chain solutions," he said. "For example, the UK's Regulated Agent Program takes a pragmatic approach. The US Certified Cargo Screening Program has shippers, forwarders and manufacturers take responsibility for their part of the supply chain. IATA is promoting Secure Freight to help all governments develop a similar approach. Securing the supply chain is a critical component of our cargo efforts."

But airport scanning technology "is also important," he commented, emphasizing that "airport screening cannot be our first line of defense. Screening can complement effective intelligence and supply chain solutions." He pointed out "there is no technology today that governments have certified to screen standard size pallets and large items. There is some promising technology but it is taking far too long to move from the laboratory to the airport. We must speed up the process."

He noted that with e-freight (ATW Daily News, April 6) becoming more prevalent, regulators now have "electronic access to some 20 documents providing accurate insight on who is shipping what. Currently governments use this data primarily for inbound processing. The next steps are for the industry to increase overall e-freight volumes and for governments to use e-freight data in the outbound security process. This allows us to manage cargo security intelligently and efficiently without compromising on speed."

Bisignani cautioned governments against imposing "unilateral solutions creating unintended problems. I am confident that we can meet any challenge if governments work with industry on practical solutions appropriate to the level of risk."

IATA DG and CEO Giovanni Bisignani. Photo: Courtesy, IATA.


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Dangerous goods brought by passengers

Pack Safe: Spending five minutes double-checking your luggage for hazards gets us all there safer.

What is a Hazardous Material?

From lithium batteries to aerosol whipped cream, many items used every day at home or work are regulated as hazardous materials (a.k.a. "hazmat" and "dangerous goods"). These products may seem harmless; however, when transported by air they can be very dangerous. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause items to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. Hazardous materials include, but are not limited to: Explosives, Gases, Flammable Liquids and Solids, Oxidizers, Toxic and Infectious Materials, Radioactive Materials, Corrosives and many other items that can endanger the traveling public when not handled correctly. The good news is that many of the hazardous materials we can't live without are allowed in our baggage, but only if we follow the rules.

Read more on the FAA site




Life of a cargo pilot


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  1. Original article on http://atwonline.com/international-aviation-regulation/news/bisignani-response-cargo-bombs-should-be-collaborative-1102?cid=nl_atw_dn&YM_RID=beatrice.ha@gmail.com

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