Une piste pour le feu "De soute" du B747F d'UPS à Dubaï !
Un changement de réglementation pour le transport des batteries au lithium, dans le tube !
Une assez forte présomption en attendant les résultats de l'enquête, comme pour changer une réglementation !
------------ L'article WSJ online :-----------------
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704285104575492212976583750.html?ru=yahoo&mod=yahoo_hsTighter Curbs Expected on Lithium Batteries Regulators to Ramp Up Restrictions on the Ubiquitous Objects in Cargo Planes After Fire on UPS Jet Stokes Safety DebateBy ANDY PASZTOR and MELANIE TROTTMAN
Federal officials are poised to substantially tighten restrictions on transporting lithium batteries in U.S. cargo planes, according to people familiar with the details, after an apparent cargo fire resulted in the crash of a United Parcel Service Inc. jet in Dubai. The move, which would affect nearly all U.S. cargo carriers, could also force manufacturers and distributors of consumer electronics to alter their packaging and documentation procedures. Lithium batteries are used in a wide array of electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers. View Full Image
European Pressphoto Agency
The UPS Boeing 747 crashed in Dubai on Sept. 3, killing both pilots.
The urgency of the new restrictions, which people familiar with the matter expect to be announced shortly, appear to be a response to signs that lithium batteries may have stoked the intense fire and dense smoke that filled the cockpit of the UPS Boeing 747 jumbo jet before it went down on Sept. 3, while trying to return to Dubai International Airport. Both pilots died in the accident, which has revived debate over the fire hazards of lithium batteries. They can burn intensely, and once on fire can be particularly difficult to extinguish.By requiring special packaging and other safeguards for lithium batteries and products containing them, the new restrictions would resolve long-running disputes between some airline-industry officials and pilot groups over the dangers posed by such cargo. It will likely be increasingly difficult to ship large volumes of batteries, by themselves, on a single plane, according to the people familiar with the details. Investigators haven't yet revealed details of the Boeing 747's cargo or the official cause of the crash. But people familiar with the details said the flight, which originated in Hong Kong and then stopped in Dubai on the way to Cologne, Germany, had large amounts of consumer electronics aboard. The extent of the fire may make it impossible for investigators to conclusively determine where and how it broke out. A Department of Transportation spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman. UPS officials have declined to comment on the status of the investigation.But industry safety experts said they expected government action in the next few days. Transportation-department and FAA officials, they said, were discussing safety initiatives to require special protective packaging on lithium batteries, to limit the number allowed on one plane and to mandate warnings to pilots about the type of cargo loaded before takeoff. Earlier this year, transportation officials proposed restrictions on such batteries in cargo carriers, essentially classifying them as hazardous or dangerous goods, requiring packaging to prevent short circuits and limiting where they may be loaded inside cargo planes. But those proposals were not made final.In October, 2009, the transportation department issued a lithium-battery safety advisory aimed at shippers and carriers responsible for complying with hazardous-materials regulations for passenger and cargo aircraft. The agency said it was especially concerned about undeclared shipments of lithium batteries, and tallied more than 40 air-transport-related incidents involving such batteries and electronic devices since 1991.Passenger planes over the years have complied with strict restrictions, and often outright bans, on lithium batteries carried as cargo. Since January, 2008, transportation-agency rules have barred airline passengers from packing spare lithium batteries in checked baggage. But if passengers put a portable electronic device in their checked baggage, the batteries are allowed to remain. In carry-on baggage, passengers can still pack a number of batteries of different types, including those commonly used in cell phones and most laptop computers.The UPS jet's flight-data recorders have been downloaded by U.S. crash investigators, and early analysis is consistent with the theory that the blaze started in a cargo area, spread quickly and then pushed smoke into the cockpit, preventing pilots from seeing their instruments. On Tuesday, investigators from the United Arab Emirates gave the strongest public signal yet that the blaze originated in the cargo hold. They disclosed that prior to smoke in the cockpit, there was a fire warning received by the crew. Such warnings normally come from sensors in or around the cargo compartments, not inside the cockpitThe U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which is participating in the investigation, years ago urged regulators to require installation of fire-suppression systems in the main holds of cargo planes. The recommendations came after a 2006 fire damaged a UPS McDonnell Douglas DC-8 cargo jet that managed to land safely in Philadelphia, with the crew barely escaping the flames. At the time, the safety board also called for enhanced training, improved pilot exits and upgraded smoke detection systems. More recently, board officials stepped up ther campaign to champion such improvements. They have declined to comment on the current crash, as have UPS. officials.Many lithium batteries have internal safeguards designed to prevent fires in case batteries overheat or malfunction. Investigators looking into the Dubai crash are trying to determine if the batteries aboard the plane had such systems, and whether they were working properly.The debate over preventing fires stemming from lithium batteries is complicated by the fact that FAA critics contend parts of the agency's proposal from earlier this year aren't consistent with international safety standards covering battery shipments. Write to
Andy Pasztor at email@example.com and Melanie Trottman at firstname.lastname@example.org