DJI Inspire 1 Catches Fire On Passanger Plane


From an account on Twitter we found a post about a fire on a plane because of a drone! Wait, what? So it appears a DJI Inspire 1 caught fire in the overhead compartment, we do not know the cause of the fire but looks like a moderate one. Glad it happened on the ground and not the air! The attendants quickly put out the fire and removed the craft and its owner!




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  • Moderator

    The correct limits (at least for the USA ) are in this document 

    Basically you can take an unlimited amount of batteries (suitably protected ) as long as the Wh rating of EACH battery is less that 100Wh- this is defined as  battery volts (V) X Ahr rating so a 11.2volt 8000mAhr  = 11.2 x 8Ahr battery = 89.6Wh and can be taken as hand baggage. You just need a good reason to carry them . 

  • Eli

    Last week, I traveled with a group of folks to Costa Rica with 8 quads as part of a study abroad program.

    We bought LiPo bags and put 3 2200 3S packs in each bag. The packs where discharged and both connectors individually heat-shrunk. 

    We packed 2 LiPo bags per person (in carry-on of course) and were given no hassles to or from Costa Rica. They looked at them briefly and sent us on our way. 

    The only time they stopped us was on the way back to the US to take a closer look at my transmitter. It's a modded T9x, so I'm sure it looks like a jumble of wires on their X-ray scanner. 

    We did not take any packs that were showing signs of puffing (so basically our older packs).

    Just like Sandy, we packed props and tools in our checked bags.

    We put them on top of everything so security wouldn't have to scramble the contents of the bag to check them out. We could tell they had a look. 

    Indeed, being knowledgeable of your hardware and the regulations makes things go smoother. 

  • Thanks Greg for posting this important information. I've featured a link to this DIYD post on this DroneSpeak page to raise awareness, particularly for the many buyers of RTF/RTO multicopter products who are thinking about traveling with their new equipment. Not fun to be on a flight when there is a LiPo fire.

  • I think li-xx outside cellphones and laptops should be prohibited onboard. Batteries should be shipped ahead using well informed cargo companies that can take sufficent safety measures.
  • I'm about to fly in 2 weeks with a bunch of batteries and I've been staying up at night thinking about it.... Just ordered a bunch of LiPo bags and I'm mentally preparing for getting hassled by the TSA. Personally, I've never had an RC battery catch fire on me but the prospect is certainly unnerving.

  • Developer

    This isn't the first lipo fire on a plane. There was one here in Australia about 6 months ago. That was worse because it was in the cargo hold.

  • What a surprise! NOT!!!!!!!!!!

  • Does the Röntgen radiation affect the batteries?
    The lipo batteries just look like explosives.
  • I've just done a lot of travelling with my drone. In February I went Oslo - Heathrow, Heathrow to Dubai, Dubai to Singapore, Singapore to Sydney, Sydney to Wellington, and just returned home last night; Wellington to Melbourne, Melbourne to Singapore, Singapore to Dubai, Dubai to Oslo. At each transfer point I had to go through security.

    I fly with my 3DR DIY Quad disassembled with two arms removed from the frame and legs collapsed (its the only way I can get it to fit into my hard case rolling hand luggage). The flight controller section along with the gimbal and camera are also removed from the frame and put in a pouch to protect them but are all still in the same case. My batteries are discharged to storage levels and I only take the bare minimum for my needs with me. There is a maximum number of batteries you are allowed to fly with and it relates to total power output (which I checked a long time ago and have since forgotten but know that I am under). I tape the ends of the balance and power plugs so there is no chance of a short and place them in a LIPO safe bag clearly marked as to what they are. 

    I don't put more than two batteries to a bag. My drone uses a flight battery and a video battery. The video battery is much smaller than the flight battery and I travel with two sets of each. I put each set (1 flight + 1 video battery) in their own LIPO safe bag.

    I put props and tools in the stow away luggage.

    At each security check point I have to remove my laptop as per usual, but when I do so I open my drone case and show them and advise I have one and take the batteries out and put the batteries in a separate tray. I tell them I have discharged them to storage levels and that I have taped the ends to prevent the possibility of a short during travel.

    It takes time. I definitely hold up the queue and spend more time going through security than when I travel without it. Sometimes they wipe everything down to check for explosives and drugs, and sometimes not. They are always inquisitive but I have never had any problems being open and honest about it. Probably because I am prepared and patient and understanding of the process. Allow yourself plenty of time! Even with tight transfers I make it through no problem. There is no point fighting or being resentful of the security process. Even though I do not enjoy it and personally feel it has removed the romanticism of flying, I appreciate it is there for a reason. At the end of the day, just like when I am flying the drone - I do not want to damage my gear or anyone else's!

    I would be extremely embarrassed and distressed if I was the owner of the drone that caught fire on the plane. He is lucky a trained person was on hand to control the fire for him. Imagine if it was in his house or car...

    It can be frustrating only getting in two flights before needing to charge the flight battery again but it forces me to be efficient with my flying and shooting.

    Batteries must never be put in the hold and must be taken as carry on. The rest of it can go where you like but I do not have a sufficient hard case I could trust for putting in the hold (yet!).

    Travel is possible but you must be prepared. Security does not "give you a hard time" for travelling with a drone if you demonstrate your knowledge and management of the dangers that are present.

    The above works for me and I have flown all round the world.

    It must have smelt awful for the remainder of that flight...!

  • Moderator

    FWIW, If you leave the battery in the Inspire 1 It presses pretty tightly against the top of the case.  Most people recommend not putting the battery in the unit when it's packed away.

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