5 Aircraft Parts That Are Dangerous Goods In Disguise

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Dealing with HAZMAT is a pain. I’m sure you’re even rolling your eyes thinking about it. But you know what’s worse?

Finding out that you have an AOG because one of your cargo items was mislabeled. Even worse than that?

You didn’t even know it was a HAZMAT material to begin with.

Now both time and money is being wasted.

But this happens all the time, and even the most experienced shippers can overlook dangerous goods because they’re just so damn sneaky.

Luckily there’s a solution.

All you have to do is know what to look for and how to tackle it.

The Talk of the Town: Lithium Batteries

They’re cheap. They’re rechargeable. They’re everywhere. Especially in the aviation industry… and the news.

They’re flammable. Extremely.

Which is why it is important to use a sturdy outer container when packaging them to prevent any movement.

We have provided this video for you to show you the step by step process on how to package lithium batteries.

Note that each lithium battery must be packaged individually and cannot be charged past 30% their max limit.

For complete instructions refer to IATA packing instruction 965.

Life Rafts: Lifesaver, time hack.

Life rafts are a necessity in dire situations. But they have the potential to self-activate and ruin other cargo items.

Some life rafts may even contain other dangerous goods such as lithium batteries and gases.

Your main priority is to package them tight enough to prevent them from self-activating and to package the gases into cylinder containers.  

For complete instructions refer to IATA packaging instruction 955.

Radioactive Materials (Don’t worry you won’t turn into Spiderman)

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Exit signs won't exactly turn you into Spiderman, but they do contain some radiation.

There will be five types of packages you will have to choose from:

  1. Expected  (The lowest)

  2. Industrial

  3. Type A

  4. Type B

  5. Type C (The highest)

For something like an exit sign, you would use an expected package since the radiation is pretty low. Then you would make sure it does not exceed .5mRem/h at any point on the surface.

For specific instructions refer to IATA 49 CFR.

Aircraft Tires: Less Pressure Less Worry

Even though it seems like a smart idea to have the tire pressure past the manufacturer's limit… It’s not.

The tire can burst when the air pressure changes after takeoff making them a dangerous good.

Before shipping check your tires for two things:

1. Are they damaged?

2. Do they meet the pressure requirements of the shipment's origin and destination?

If your answer is #1 make sure they're deflated.

If your answer is #2 check the airline's policies since many of them vary and prepare for every situation.

For complete instructions check IATA Provision A59.

Magnetized Materials

Magnetized materials have the tendency to interfere with instruments on the plane. Due to this, it is imperative to package them properly.

Here’s what to know:

1. Package them so that the polarities of the individual magnets oppose each other

2. The magnet cannot exceed .418 A/m

To shield the magnet, use padding or create a steel-lined box. But keep in mind that additional shipping fees will apply.

For complete instructions refer to IATA Packing Instruction 953.

Want to avoid further problems with HAZMAT in the future? Download this checklist.