Anna Crail was probably expecting a luau to be the only place she saw flames while on spring break. Things got dangerously lit early in her trip, however, when her iPhone 6 spontaneously burst into flames on an Alaska Airlines flight from Washington State to Hawaii.
The fire was caused by the phone’s lithium-ion battery, the same kind found in the hoverboards that have been banned by most airlines. Back in January, $6 million in hoverboards were seized by U.S. Customs agents. Those same restrictions won’t likely be imposed on mobile devices though, considering that passengers carry their phones and tablets on airplanes all the time with incendiary incidents almost never occurring.
Describing her reaction when the iPhone caught fire, Crail says “I thought we were going down.” Flames began rising from the iPhone while she was watching a movie. Fortunately for all 163 passengers on board, the flames were quickly put out and no one was hurt.
Lithium-ion batteries have been known to explore under heavy physical abuse. When they combust, the stored energy converts from electricity to heat. Rare as these incidents may be, aviation expert John Nance suggests that passengers simply put their phones on airplane mode since leaving them on will cause the devices to keep searching for a signal and possibly overheat in the process.
You might think that a toasted iPhone wouldn’t normally qualify for Apple’s newly amended trade-in program, but it sounds like Apple will probably make an exception in this case. In any event, you can always avoid playing with fire on a plane by sticking with in-flight entertainment.Gizmodo via KOMO]
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