Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Commercial airlines - flying WITH a Phantom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Peter Patricelli, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Peter Patricelli

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eugene, OR USA
    I would like to take my Phantom with me on some trips. I wonder what experiences others have had who might have tried or done this?

    At present I would use the original box and take it as a carry-on. The issues might be:

    There are regulations by some airlines about NOT carrying Li-ion camera/computer/whatever batteries in carry-on.....they want you to check them......irregularly or rarely enforced. But I have run into it. Anyone know whether the airlines have any issues with Li-po batteries?? That would be a pretty fine hair to expect a TSA agent to split. I could, of course, put the Li-pos in checked luggage.....to possibly freak out the scanners??

    The transmitter might set off alarm bells. Turned off....of course. Batteries removed....not a bad idea. But still.....??? Not that, in reality, it probably has no more or less dangerous potential than, say, an iphone.

    And then there is that "drone" association thing.

    Anyone done it??

    Thanks,
    Peter Patricelli
     
  2. marcus_canada

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    4
    The phantom is merely an electrical device, there is absolutely no reason to tell them about it much less explain to them it isn't a gun slinging drone. The transmitter the same. People take R/C models with them all over the world.

    As a rule of thumb when dealing with security and airport authorities - keep your mouth well and truly CLOSED.

    Now, that said, Lipos are different so for that you'll have to ask the question unfortunately. Goes without saying that you'll have to pack them in a safe Lipo-Bag etc but even then you might get told they are a no-no.
     
  3. eckoner

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    9
    I just traveled with mine and they had it go thru the Xray a 3 times and asked me a few questions about it but other than that no problems.

    However all it takes is one service worker in that chain that could ruin your whole trip.
     
    ZachVW and Carlos M Melendez like this.
  4. Sac D

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northern California
    I've gone to Hawaii and back with the Phantom, Futaba, batteries, tools, etc, all packed in my Pelican case as carry-on luggage, and had no problem at all. I'd post a picture of it all packed and airline-ready... but the board is saying that my upload quota has been exceeded or words to that effect. What's up with that?
     
  5. FrankB

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    6
    I've carried mine on board as carry-on several times, and have had absolutely no problem in security or with the airline. They do seem to want to do the little swap test for explosives, though- but they often do that with my computer too, so it's not a big deal.

    The only problem is getting it to fit into the overhead bins or under the seat- with the prop guards, it is just a little too big (I don't have a case and can't be bothered to dismantle it).

    The other bonus of taking it on board by itself is the interesting conversation starter it becomes- mainly with guys, though (ladies, take note).
     
    ZachVW likes this.
  6. sundance2013

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just make sure you fly on a Boeing 787 Dream liner and if anything happens they will just think it's the aircraft battery. :D
     
    Falcon900 likes this.
  7. sundance2013

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sac D, just noticed you are in N. CA, I assume Sacramento. I'm in the Fairfield/Suisun City area about 45min. away.
    Was just wondering are there any stories in Sac. that carry Phantom stuff?
     
  8. FrankB

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    6
    Can I use GPS mode or do I have to switch to ATT if I want to fly it down the aisle?
     
    david85williams, ChadDa3mon and claws like this.
  9. ArshadR

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Recently flew with the phantom. Different airlines have different regulations, but the general rule of thumb is that they don't want anything that could catch fire in the hold, so your LiPo's must be taken as carry-on.

    Some airlines further require the batteries either be separated (eg. plastic baggies), or leads taped off with electrical tape, or the batteries enclosed in a fireproof bag. The latter is readily available at hobby shops. I bought one, but ended up not needing it -- I just had the leads taped off.
     
  10. paradiseaerial

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took mine in a case to Haiti, and had no troubles. On the flight over, I checked the case and carried the lipos in my laptop case, then on the return I carried the Phantom case on, but still with the lipos with the laptop. Although the Phantom case is a little larger than what American airlines specifies for carryons, it went in the overhead bin of the 737 no sweat.

    If you are going to check it as a bag, I would suggest adding some extra padding or bubble wrap. Even with the snug fit of the foam padding in my case, some of my smaller items had come out of their slots and the gimbal had come completely off of the anti-vibration mounts.

    On both legs of the trip, I had no troubles whatsoever, nobody even asked about the Phantom or the batteries. If they had, I was prepared to answer with "photographic equipment" or "toy".

    Just remember, when traveling to distant destinations, re-calibrate your compass before flight. I did so, and did quite a number of flights with the Arris gimbal and Hero 2. No problems at all and got some great footage.

    http://www.paradiseaerial.com/wp
     
  11. yalag

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know if it's safe to check the case as luggage? I hear they throw those things around really rough?
     
  12. sundance2013

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    I work for an airline, not in the baggage area and I don't know first hand how they handle baggage but in the industry we call them baggage smashers...just say-in. :mrgreen:
     
  13. Adoa

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. martcerv

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    2
    I think he got a couple boxes on at least, if thats all phantom boxes they may need an advanced calibration before the first flight. :lol:

    Any mode should have the same results with a quick crash and getting arrested on landing. ;)
     
  15. Peter Patricelli

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eugene, OR USA
    I have physically watched a baggage handler, feeding the converyor taking bags into the belly hold..take a bag that jammed and fell off....12 feet....THRO the bag back onto the conveyor up on the top....it bounced three times while smashing down to the tarmac a second time.

    Assume and prepare for the worst...baggage handling-wise.
     
  16. inventor61

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I am new to Phantom travel and was wondering if security x-ray will affect compass?
    Thanks
     
  17. Zinnware

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    8
    I have been on 4 flights and it had no adverse affect on the compass. I take mine on as a carry-on.
    I would recommend that you recalibrate the compass upon arrival to a new location as mentioned in the manual (5.3 item 2.
    5.3 When Recalibration is required
    (1) When Compass Data is abnormal, the LED flight indicator will blink alternating between red and yellow.
    (2) Last compass calibration was performed at a completely different flying field/location.
    (3) The mechanical structure of the aircraft has changed, i.e. changed mounting position of the compass.
    (4) Evident drifting occurs in flight, i.e. the aircraft doesn't fly in straight lines.
     
  18. chapsrlz

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    87
    Location:
    cdmx
    i have taken mine in three flights, one was a 14 hrs flight, and always as a carry on in a backpack, on my last trip i carried it with three batteries and had no trouble at all.

    however i would suggest arriving to the airport at least half an hour earlier because like eckoner said, it only takes one person in the chain to ruin your trip... and youll never know.

    in my case i lost almost an hour in japan explaining what "that thing" was.
     
  19. ebby422

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. ebby422

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    i just landed in india from US to do some videos.. put it in my carry on with no issues through my travels.. went through at least 5 xrays.. i had 2 batteries as well.

    hit me up with any questions :)