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Air Travel with Gear


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#1 Colin Rich

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:52 PM

Hi. I'm sure if this has been discussed much before (couldn't do a search at the moment), but I'm wondering about traveling with a small amount of gear. Specifically, I'll have a DVX in a pelican case and was wondering if I'll have any trouble bringing it on-board (I really prefer to have it with me during the flight). I've read that sometimes batteries aren't allowed in the cabin because of risk of combustion (!?). I'd appreciate any insight to this, thanks.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 01:12 PM

There's been some whining from the airlines before about lithium batteries. If badly designed and sufficiently mistreated, they can burst into flames quite spectacularly, but that would usually happen during charge, high-rate discharge, or shortly thereafter either of those things.

In terms of flying them, how this theoretically works out depends on what sort of batteries they are, whether they have any form of certification, what the capacity is, and whether you say anything, they notice, and of course whether the aircraft eventually returns to earth as a cloud of smoking metal confetti liberally smeared with pieces of you.

How this actually works out depends on whether you have your camera packaged in a way that makes it look like professional equipment, and how bad a day the security people are having.

Needless to say more or less every camcorder, cellphone and laptop in the world has lithium batteries, and since a DVX is pretty much a domestic camcorder I suspect it's very unlikely you'd have a problem. That said, you would be well advised to read the actual rules from your airline on this, and get any certification paperwork your batteries have before you go.

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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 01:17 PM

It depends on how big the Pelican is. It needs to still be carry-on safe. Check with your airlines for their rules.
I just flew on Delta with an EX1 in a Petrol soft-case, without any issues.
For your batteries, yes, you can bring them, but you need to tape off their terminals, and keep them in a safe place to avoid puncture/shorts. That's what the TSA told me at least.
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#4 Tim Tyler

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 06:09 PM

Technically the TSA requires that all Lithium Ion batteries be carried on. They do not allow you to check them.

I've found that soft camera cases are best for carrying camera gear on a plane as they squeeze better into the overheads.
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