NTSB Recommendations On Lithium-Ion Batteries And Emerging Technologies

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published new recommendations on evaluation and certification for lithium-ion batteries used in aircraft systems, as well as certifying new technologies. The five recommendations addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are derived from the NTSB’s on-going investigation prompted by a fire on a 787 parked at Boston Logan Airport. Investigators concluded that the battery in the 787 fire showed evidence of thermal runaway, and also noted that: “Unintended electrical interactions occurred among the cells, the battery case, and the electrical interfaces between the battery and the airplane." The NTSB has asked the FAA to take five actions ranging from developing an aircraft-level thermal runaway test to convening a panel of independent expert consultants early in the certification process.

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