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Warning - Don't crush your phone in-flight

Date of publication: 
12 December 2016

Christmas holiday travellers are being warned about the danger of crushing their smart phone while flying.

Smart phones can fall into aircraft seat mechanisms and be crushed when the seat is moved.

This can result in damage to the phone’s lithium battery which can cause overheating and fire.

There have been a growing number of smart phone crushing incidents on aircraft, with nine recent emergency events.

Airlines are briefing passengers not to move their seat if a phone is dropped or lost and aircraft manufacturers are looking at seat designs.

Passengers must remember never to move their seat if a phone goes missing while inflight and to always ask the aircraft cabin crew for assistance. If a phone is damaged cabin crew should be alerted immediately.

The increasing number of crushed phones on aircraft is being caused by the slim design of smart phones and the risk of fire is higher due to more powerful batteries.

Damaged and lost phones have been nominated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority as the biggest dangerous goods safety risk in 2016.

Lithium batteries and portable power packs come in at number two on the dangerous goods list with passengers still failing to carry spare batteries safely.

Spare batteries must never be carried in checked luggage at any time but should be taken on board aircraft in carry-on baggage with the battery terminals protected.

Hover boards have made the dangerous goods list for the first time, with passengers still packing the self-balancing scooter in luggage despite widespread warnings. The absence of manufacturing standards for hover boards creates an increased risk of fire.

Compressed oxygen also makes the dangerous goods list, with passengers requiring oxygen for medical purposes failing to contact their airline before travelling.

CASA has an app to inform airline passengers about dangerous goods safety.

Media contact:
Peter Gibson
0419 296 446