TSA restricts lithium batteries on airplanes

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TH O, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. TH O

    Guest Guest

    that's true. fabricating something from liquids that can bring down a
    plane while *on* the plane is not that simple, and it's likely to fail
    with nothing more than a fizzle.

    what's also brain damaged is that one can't bring a bottle of water
    through the checkpoint (not even a sealed one), but one can then buy
    the exact same thing (for $3) after the checkpoint, only to have it
    confiscated again if the tsa happens to do an occasional second
    security screening at the gate (which thankfully, are very rare now).
     
    Guest, Jan 12, 2008
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  2. Not brain damaged at all. It promotes the airport businesses :-((

    However, there is an easy solution: TSA does not have a ban on air (yet).
    Just bring your own bottle filled with air (aka an empty bottle) and fill it
    at a drinking fountain.
    Hmmm, the ban is on _liquids_, isn't it? Just poor out the water :)

    On the other hand, that gives me another idea. As the ban is on liquids it
    should be totally legal to freeze the bottle at home and take that ice
    through security, shouldn't it?

    jue
     
    Jürgen Exner, Jan 12, 2008
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  3. TH O

    Guest Guest

    yep, the airport vendors *love* it. but don't ever get behind a food
    delivery where they have to pass palettes of sealed water bottles
    through the xray machine, one palette at a time. you'll be there a
    while.
    if you don't mind tap water, sure. what if you want soda or fruit
    juice?
    it's been tried and it doesn't work. i've also heard of semi-solid
    foods being confiscated, such as cheesecake, pudding, applesauce, etc.
     
    Guest, Jan 12, 2008
  4. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    They may appreciate the small amount of extra business,
    but that's *not* why TSA does it.

    "Never attribute to malice that which can be
    adequately explained by stupidity." [Hanlon's razor]
     
    John Navas, Jan 12, 2008
  5. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/10/AR2006081001629.html>

    Why Liquids Have Been Banned

    Acetone peroxieds are easily made, dangerously unstable -- and a
    favorite of terrorists.

    Easily available chemicals can be combined to create highly unstable
    explosives. An acetone peroside compound named TATP -- referred to as
    "Mother of Satan" by some terrorist groups -- can be synthesized
    under carefully controlled colder temperatures.

    Mixed at room temperature, two highly concentrated liquids can yield
    extremely unstable acetone peroxide, which can detonate spontaneously
    or with only slight friction.

    The explosion is pound for pound 80 percent more powerful than that
    of TNT, but generates no flame and little heat. Known as an "entropy
    explosion", it occurs as weakly bonded molecules rearrange into more
    stable compoounds, suddenly releasing enormous volumes of gas.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Many easily obtained liquid chemicals can be used to produce an
    explosive capable of causing a devastating fire or blast aboard an
    airplane, experts said yesterday.

    While hesitant to provide a specific recipe that would aid
    terrorists, several experts said it would not be difficult to obtain
    a liquid explosive or chemical mixture that could be smuggled in.

    "From available commercial material, and with the right basic
    knowledge, it doesn't take too much expertise," said Tal Hanan, a
    security expert at Demoman International Ltd. in Israel. "Any
    second-year chemical engineering student, probably with the right
    guidance and some handbook they pull off the Internet, could probably
    compose such an explosive."

    ...

    One of the explosives most commonly used by Middle East terrorists is
    triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, a highly potent explosive used by
    would-be "shoe bomber" Richard Reid. Usually found in the form of a
    crystalline powder, experts said TATP could be dissolved into a
    liquid that could be carried aboard a plane.

    "Some terrorists have actually held TATP in water in order to reduce
    its sensitivity," Hanan said.

    But terrorists could simply carry aboard a plane the two chemicals
    used to make TATP.

    When the chemicals are mixed together, "chances are it will
    instantaneously and violently react," said Neal Langerman, a chemical
    industry consultant who acts as a spokesman for the American Chemical
    Society. "If it didn't, you can stick in a detonator, hook it up to
    the battery in your iPod, and you're dead."

    Even if the chemicals fail to create an explosion, a major fire will
    probably be sufficient, Langerman said.

    "Fire aboard an aircraft is a very bad thing," Langerman said. "If
    you create a hot, energetic fire, the aircraft is in very big
    trouble."

    Many other substances could potentially be used to create a fire or
    an explosion, such as oxidizers used to clean pools or a combination
    of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel.

    "When you bring them together, you have the most common commercial
    explosive," said Jimmie C. Oxley, an explosives expert at the
    University of Rhode Island.

    Whatever might be attempted, current airport security measures would
    easily miss such substances.

    ...
     
    John Navas, Jan 12, 2008
  6. TH O

    Guest Guest

    i never said that's why they did it. however, the airport vendors love
    it.
     
    Guest, Jan 12, 2008
  7. TH O

    Guest Guest

    if you get a number of things right, it can. however, getting
    everything right, especially in an airplane bathroom (nevermind on the
    ground), is non-trivial.

    but the ban does impress the non-flyers.
     
    Guest, Jan 12, 2008
  8. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    Seemed pretty obvious to me that you were throwing that in to impugn the
    motives of TSA.
     
    John Navas, Jan 12, 2008
  9. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    It's actually not terribly hard for a trained terrorist. You're badly
    underestimating our opponents, which is how attacks have slipped through
    in the past. Makes no sense. "Better safe than sorry."
     
    John Navas, Jan 12, 2008
  10. TH O

    Roger (K8RI) Guest

    What country?


    Roger
     
    Roger (K8RI), Jan 12, 2008
  11. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    USA.
     
    John Navas, Jan 12, 2008
  12. TH O

    C J Campbell Guest

    Okay, if you are willing to dismiss any facts that are presented, I
    guess we have nothing more to talk about. Your mind is made up, no
    matter what the facts are.
     
    C J Campbell, Jan 13, 2008
  13. TH O

    C J Campbell Guest

    Or if they are, you just dismiss them as irrelevant.
     
    C J Campbell, Jan 13, 2008
  14. TH O

    C J Campbell Guest

    We are talking less than 3 grams of lithium in a battery. Less than a
    match head.
     
    C J Campbell, Jan 13, 2008
  15. TH O

    C J Campbell Guest

    Sure you are. You have been arguing with two other pilots, both well
    known in other forums and well respected in their fields.
     
    C J Campbell, Jan 13, 2008
  16. And the FAA and the TSA are OK with those sorts of quantities -- up to
    8 grams per battery if I recall the original notice. What the FAA have
    found out under test conditions that a bunch of such batteries bundled
    together in hold baggage can ignite each other if one of them shorts and
    starts to burn. Inside a luggage container, the onboard firefighting
    systems are not guaranteed to do the job of extinguishing that kind of
    bundled fire as lithium is very reactive when it starts burning in air.

    Individual batteries up to a certain size limit fitted to equipment
    like laptops are OK because even if they do light off, they are not in
    close proximity to other batteries, and being in a laptop or such
    there's less chance of an accidental short. The real worry is the bunch
    of spare batteries all wrapped up together, or gigantic extended-life
    battery packs with over 8 grammes of lithium content.

    Until quite recently passengers weren't carrying large quantities of
    lithium metal on board aircraft. Now that we are doing so the rules have
    changed.
     
    Robert Sneddon, Jan 13, 2008
  17. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    You took the words right out of my mouth. ;)

    Not agreeing with you has nothing to do with whether my mind is open or
    not -- I'm the one posting real evidence.
     
    John Navas, Jan 13, 2008
  18. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    On the contrary -- I'm one of the few posting real facts here.
    Shall we call it "inconvenient truth"? ;)
     
    John Navas, Jan 13, 2008
  19. TH O

    John Navas Guest

    Think what you wish.
     
    John Navas, Jan 13, 2008
  20. TH O

    Guest Guest

    i don't underestimate them at all.

    the procedures in place will only catch the stupid ones. there are
    still a lot of holes that are quite obvious to people who fly a lot,
    and certainly to someone actually looking to exploit one.
     
    Guest, Jan 13, 2008
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