Cost Benefit Of Cargo Hold Fires

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The FAA believes lithium batteries can pose a threat to flight safety and bans them from the cargo holds of passenger aircraft, which carry fire-suppression systems, but that's not the case for cargo aircraft and the disparity is not sitting well with cargo pilots. The Independent Pilots Association (IPA), which represents UPS pilots, is seeking standards that will provide cargo crews with a reasonable expectation of survival should a lithium battery fire break out on board a cargo flight. Cargo carriers can carry thousands of batteries on one flight and each battery can burn at thousands of degrees. But without regulatory guidance each carrier is left to balance safety investments against short-term competitive interests.

AVweb spoke with Independent Pilots Association President Robert Travis about the dangers and where in the mix that leaves pilots. Click here for that podcast.