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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Aerial photography up in lithium smoke
12-07-2004 06:01 AM  13 years agoPost 1
Michael Shetler

rrNovice

Twin Falls ,Idaho

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Just thought I would share with all what happened to me this last weekend of the 4th of dec. 2004. My friend came up from Salt Lake to fly helis and planes. We built and charged all friday night. Flew all day saturday, and headed home to charge more battery's and fix a few foame's. My wife and kids were gone to town so Erick and I headed in to get a bite to eat. I told him I don't like the idea of leaving the lithium batt. charging while we were gone. Any way we left them charging and headed to town. Erick wanted to go to a sit down dinner like outback. I talked him into going to a drive- through and heading straight home.
We got back to my house and turning the corner I looked over to see flames in the 3rd leval window where my hobby room and office was. They looked to be 4'-6' tall. It was the most terrifying thing that either one of us had ever seen.
I hit the garage door button and proceeded up to fight the fire while calling 911. I fought the fire for 20-25 minutes before the fire department got there. They put the fire out and we only lost the 3 rd level. But as I said it was my office and hobby room. I lost everything
4 helicopters 2 giant airplanes, 4 foamy air planes , 3 9z wc2's, everything, 3 computers printers 66" big screen 32 speakers surround.
I have a trailer that I pull behind my diesel pusher motor home or my h2 hummer and I had just unloaded everything up stairs. All of my aierial photography stuff was up there. And I had allot of stuff and I mean allot , if you ask the people that fly with me like Tabby Tab or Erick Klapstein.
Anyway the moral of the story is lithium batt. should not be kept or chearged in the house. I have charged them 100's of times with no problems until now. But I guess all it takes is one time. This thing has freaked me out. I have charged those battery's many of times while my wife and kids and I were all sleeping or away at town. And just to think if Erick and I would have not have come back 500,000 dollars would have been down the drain. All 5,500 sq. ft. would have been gone over a F_ _ _ king lith. Batt. I think the total lost just in parts tools computers helis and planes is around 70k not including everything else furniature big screen ,structure,This is ASS.
If I remain doing this hobby I am bying a fire proof safe that I will keep and charge all battery's.
Oh and Jeff, I just got my new 20d in the mail last Wed. and lost it in the fire . We found it it's just a little smaller. This whole thing has been an eye opener.
Anyway be safe and be careful with your battery's it's not a matter of if it's when with lithium.
(Merry Christmas to all) Mike Shetler

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12-07-2004 06:15 AM  13 years agoPost 2
tabbytabb

rrElite Veteran

seattle

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Mike left out the worst part,

About 2 weeks ago I built him a killer Hornet 2 and sadly it passed away in the barbeque

Just kidding Mike I am just glad nobody(or your pets) were injured. For those who dont know Mike personally his wife is trying to start a zoo at their home, there are ferets, eels, cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, and who knows what else

I will have you a R50 built up in a jiffy

Take care

Tabb

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12-07-2004 06:57 AM  13 years agoPost 3
MPA

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Australia

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That is a serious tradgedy Mike
Damn sorry to hear it.
Fire scares the crapper out of me.

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12-07-2004 07:04 AM  13 years agoPost 4
fitenfyr

rrProfessor

Port Orchard, Washington

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That stinks..

Mike,
That is really crap...

If you need anything give a shout.

Take care and like you said it is all material and you guys are allright.

Jason Stiffey
Fly Fast....Live Slow...

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12-07-2004 09:54 AM  13 years agoPost 5
Torsten

rrKey Veteran

Germany

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real sorry to read that.

only things that come to my mind is:

why did you not follow the warnings that came with the batteries ?

and more important.

what does the insurance company say to this ?

do´nt want to be the smart ass on the block, but:

on a side note, i dont have an h2 hummer nor 70 k in other toys, but i do have two 12 pound dry powder, plus one Co2 fire extinguishers in the house. plus i did invest in a stone pottery flower pot filled with oven dried sand in which i charge my lipos.

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12-07-2004 10:30 AM  13 years agoPost 6
groundeffect

rrKey Veteran

Canada

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sorry to hear of your loss...

Micheal, very sorry to hear of your loss. Glad that nobody was hurt in the incident!!


Cheers,
Dean

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12-07-2004 12:04 PM  13 years agoPost 7
Taipan

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Sydney, Australia

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Thank goodness no-one was hurt or killed.

You should post this in the main forum as a warning to other lithium users.

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12-07-2004 12:24 PM  13 years agoPost 8
G.Man

rrProfessor

Bristol

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Thats just kept me away from LIPO's for the forseeable future...

Sorry for your loss

Don't Email me as I wont reply - PM Only (spam countermeasures)

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12-07-2004 12:31 PM  13 years agoPost 9
HeliCool

rrApprentice

Florida

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Sorry to hear that.

I have been leary of going LiPo and that just sealed the deal.
I think the only place they are safe to charge would be in my foundry furnace. Again sorry for your loss and good luck.

Rich

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12-07-2004 01:13 PM  13 years agoPost 10
electro212

rrVeteran

Lancaster Pa

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sorry for your loss
can you tell what charger and whos packs?

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12-07-2004 01:38 PM  13 years agoPost 11
GauchoVolador

rrVeteran

Tx

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Really sorry about the loss. It is a luck that nobody got hurt, money come and goes.The lesson is really clear, Lipos are serious stuff. Hope this can be a sad lesson of what can happen if we unnatend this new electric stuff.

Hope you, your family and all have merry christmas.

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12-07-2004 01:41 PM  13 years agoPost 12
GMcNair

rrKey Veteran

Birmingham AL

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Michael, very sorry to read of your loss, especially right now at the holidays. Being displaced in cold weather isn't much fun either. I wish you the best in the rebuild.

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12-07-2004 01:54 PM  13 years agoPost 13
cjperry

rrApprentice

Australia

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MAN that is one sad story.
20 min fighting the fire. You are lucky that you are not DEAD.
Thanks for posting your experience. Your post may prevent another incident.

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12-07-2004 02:00 PM  13 years agoPost 14
peaks view

rrApprentice

City, State

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..

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12-07-2004 03:03 PM  13 years agoPost 15
Crusty

rrApprentice

N51 degrees 29.823 minutes W3 degrees 16.133 minut

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That is terrible Michael, At least no-one is injured, but major suckage all the same.
I think this is timely warning for everyone converting to LiPo's, but lets not forget that all the batteries we use present some fire risk if they are damaged /poorly made or something shorts/goes wrong during charging

I am dsylexia of borg..resistance is fruity...your arse will be laminated

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12-07-2004 04:32 PM  13 years agoPost 16
Perry Kavros

rrApprentice

San Jose, CA

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Hi Michael,

I can't express how sorry I am to hear about your home. I'm very glad you posted this though because it will make a difference on some of us on how we treat these batteries, I had a situation just the other day where I was going to leave the house and charge the batteries and decided not to. Your story won't make me second guess this again. Your unfortunant experience may save a life.

Perry

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12-07-2004 05:11 PM  13 years agoPost 17
jeffscholl

rrKey Veteran

Whitefish, MT

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Mike,

You loss/disaster has left me numb.
This is a wake up call for myself.

Take care and keep your chin up...
Jeff

btw...this pretty much disproves the whole "Drive Through food is bad for you" theory...

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12-07-2004 05:19 PM  13 years agoPost 18
ericslife

rrApprentice

vancouver b.c. Canada

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Thank god you all were ok. Toys can be replaced...My mother lost the hole house when the french fries lit up in the deep fryer. We know what its like.
My heart is with you!.
Eric D

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12-07-2004 05:34 PM  13 years agoPost 19
RCHeliJim

rrElite Veteran

Orem, UT USA

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Mike, sorry to hear about your loss!!!! Your stuff was top grade. I remember staring into your trailer at Oktoberfest and drooling over all the heli stuff you had. I am glad everyone is ok. I hope you can find a way to stay in the hobby, you were the life of the party at Oktoberfest!! Again, sorry for the loss.



Go Fly, Have Fun!!
-Team Quick UK

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12-07-2004 07:03 PM  13 years agoPost 20
DeadFox

rrNovice

Chicago, IL

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Michael- Very shocked and saddened to hear of this!! thank GOD nobody was hurt..

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