787 Dreamliner batteries called "an unreasonable risk" as passenger flight cargo
(CBS News) Lithium ion batteries are blamed for two fires on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets, but new regulations still allow the batteries to be flown as cargo on passenger flights.
That troubles CBS News aviation and safety expert Capt. Chesley Sullenberger. He said, "This recent change to carriage of batteries on passenger jets doesn't make sense in the light of what we've seen with the 787 batteries. There's still much we don't know, so until the root cause has been identified and corrective actions have been implemented, it's an unreasonable risk to ask our passengers to accept when they're flying a jet airliner."
CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg called the regulations a "major disconnect." "We've known about this for a long time," he said on "CBS This Morning." "We've had two major fires on-board cargo planes with lithium ion batteries. One that was a fatal crash in Dubai.
"(The Federal Aviation Administration) knew back in 2007 that Boeing wanted to use these kinds of batteries, and said to Boeing, 'All right, but you have to make sure you have a fire suppression system aboard that can handle it.' And then in a test in 2010, they found out that the battery they wanted to use was probably the most flammable you could use and we really didn't know what was going to happen until this stuff happened.
He added, "The irony here is, as a passenger today, most airlines will tell you you cannot check a lithium ion battery in your luggage on the plane and yet the airline is allowed to carry it as a cargo. This is going to get changed."
For more on Boeing's Dreamliner planes and the ongoing issues involved in their roll out, and what it all means for you as a passenger, watch the video in the player above.
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