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Safety Advisory on Samsung Galaxy

By Greg Bedinger
Pilot Outreach Manager

As many of you have probably heard by now, the Department of Transportation has issued an Emergency Order, effective October 15, 2016, forbidding the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from being brought onto any Flag carrier in the United States.    

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has a battery that can experience what is called a "thermal runaway" resulting in excessive heat and ultimately a fire.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), along with all the airlines have embraced this order for the safety of passengers and crews.Samsung originally recalled all the phones and replaced the batteries, yet the replacements have now been recalled as the problem was not fixed.

While the DOT Emergency Order applies to US flagged air carriers, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has issued a document letting the GA pilot population know of the hazards of this phone:

“Fires on board aircraft are one of the most significant hazards to flight safety,” said Air Safety Institute Senior Vice President George Perry. “Any electronic device that is known to cause a spontaneous fire or explode is cause for grave concern. Based on the widely reported issues with the Samsung Note 7, the Air Safety Institute agrees with the FAA’s recommendations and encourages general aviation pilots to avoid use of this phone in light aircraft as well.” 

At this time, LightHawk is strongly advising VP’s to tell passengers not to bring a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on board their aircraft. Should the FAA extend the air carrier ban to include GA aircraft, LightHawk will update this advisory to reflect that change. In the meantime, we encourage VP’s to use all available resources to inform themselves on the most current guidance and regulatory status regarding this issue.