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Traveling With Phantom 3... Tips?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 400ftFLORIDIAN, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    Hey yall, let me start off by saying that I travel for work and log 15,000-20,000 miles per month flying all over the country (USA). I have owned my Phantom 3 Pro for about a month now and I just picked up a case for it, so that I could take it with me to film various places that I travel to.
    I decided on this Nanuk945 Case for it, as it has most of the features that I want and also had some good reviews. I would have gone with a pelican, except for the fact that I wanted to have the pre cut foam for the Quad, and also be able to purchase it through Amazon, as I accumulate many Amazon gift cards with my ridiculous amount of hotel points that I rack up.
    Does anyone have any tips/experience for taking a Phantom 3 in a hard shelled case such as this as a checked bag while flying? There is quite a bit of extra room in the case, so I am planning on packing my carry gun in the Phantom 3 case as well, so I don't have to check my Pelican1200 in my roller-board suitcase.
    What I am most interested in is anyone who has traveled successfully with their Phantom 3, any tips on how to keep it more secure inside of the case. Any bad experiences/damage that have occurred. (Like I said, I travel for work and I see everyday how rough the baggage handlers treat checked luggage)
    I know that from my experience that any bags that I check with a gun in it, seems to be more of a priority for the airline that I fly with, and have had less hassle dealing with these bags. They APPEAR to care more about making sure that particular bag is where it should be. No airline wants guns disappearing from checked bags and ending up on the street.
    The pictures shown are how I have it set up now. I plan on securing the DBS mods antenna with a little more foam to sandwich it in good, I will also place my iPad mini in the slot once it's done charging.
    The Phantom appears to be fairly secure with the included block of foam that encompasses the camera/gimbal. Any tips for how to reduce the risk of damage to my quad? Thanks Yall!

    **I do not need any advice on how to travel with a firearm,I take a gun everywhere that I travel and am well versed with all applicable laws and TSA policies. Please keep advice Phantom Related.. Thanks***

    ..... Oh, the transformer luggage tag is from my 5yr old son, he gave it to me, and gets a kick out of seeing it on my bags. ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1441122797.727189.jpg ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1441122809.977575.jpg
     
    #1 400ftFLORIDIAN, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  2. III% Streve

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    Im not familiar with that case specifically, but make sure that it is vented. There have been a few reports of damage caused by compression/decompression.
    Be prepared to get the occasional gun hater going off. There are several here! Love the tag!
     
    400ftFLORIDIAN likes this.
  3. snowghost

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    +1 I too am interested in hearing experiences of checking in the Phantom.

    I have the GoProfessional case. Very similar to OP's case, but the props can be left on plus there is foam support under the gimbal. Seems like it'd be okay.
     
  4. Fplvert

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    I don't think the airline will let you have non-installed lipos in checked baggage. They are allowed as carry-on. They should be about 50% charged.

    If you plan on taking your bird on many trips, you should look at a backpack which meets carry-on size requirements.
     
    jhoke likes this.
  5. III% Streve

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    People that fly 10000 miles a month have more important things to carry-on!
     
    400ftFLORIDIAN likes this.
  6. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    Last time I checked, they required any Lithium batteries to be separated from each other, and the terminals protected from coming in contact with anything. I believe that this meets those requirements, but I will check to see if that has changed.
     
  7. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    This case has one of those automatic pressure equalizer doohickeys, similar to what pelican incorporates into their cases.
     
  8. III% Streve

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    They auto deflate, but dont re-inflate on descent. I think that's where the issues come in. Low pressure at altitude and the air escapes. Then on descent the pressure increases and collapses a bit, potentially doing damage
     
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  9. brianb87

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    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1441125687.567480.jpg

    I have this case but I'm not sure about traveling with it. I couldn't image it being a issue.
     
  10. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    I just checked my airline's policy again, and they do prohibit any lithium batteries from being checked. That's a bummer. While not as much of a PIA as I only have 1 battery so far, it will be once the other 3 that I ordered come in. I guess that I will have to put them in separate ziplocks and put them in my carry on. ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1441125909.297559.jpg
     
  11. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    What do you think then fellow Threeper? Do you think I should be worried about pressure damage if I check this case?
     
    III% Streve likes this.
  12. III% Streve

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    Like I said... I dont know the case. Ill see if I can find the related thread
     
    400ftFLORIDIAN likes this.
  13. III% Streve

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    Here is one I never saw posted. The other thread actually damaged the transmitter. Basically shoved the antenna mounts through the top of the transmitter.
    Taking Your Quad On An Airline? Watch Out For This... | DJI Phantom Forum
     
  14. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1441126563.644615.jpg Thanks. In the case manual, it definitely says that it is a "pressure equalizer". It says that it will automatically equalize the pressure inside the case. To me that would mean it works both ways, but I also have no real facts to base that on, just going by how it sounds in the manual.
     
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  15. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    Well, I am currently on a flight right now with my P3P in the belly of the Airbus. Once I get to PA and drive to my hotel (~1:30am EST), I will test fly it and let yAll know if there were any issues. I'm really counting on it to be completely unscathed and unaffected by the 2 flight trip as taking my Flying camera with me is something that I intend to do quite frequently.
     
    III% Streve likes this.
  16. Ironman

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    I have a GoProfessional Case that is similar to yours, 400ftFloridian. I have traveled via air three times (six legs in all) with my case checked and everything has been fine. No damages. I used small zip ties as locks. That way, I know immediately if TSA opened the case.

    Here is Delta's policy on lithium ion batteries as an fyi:

    LITHIUM BATTERIES
    As you probably know, traveling with consumer electronic and medical devices containing lithium cells or batteries (e.g. watches, calculators, cameras, cell phones, laptops, camcorders, hearing aids, etc.) is allowed onboard as carry-on. Spare lithium batteries are allowed as carry-on only, and must be individually protected to prevent short circuits.
    Tips to properly transport spare lithium batteries:
    Pack spare batteries in carry-on baggage.
    Keep spare batteries in the original retail packaging to prevent unintentional activation or short-circuiting.
    If original packaging is not available, effectively insulate battery terminals by isolating spare batteries from contact with other batteries and/or metal.
    Specifically, place each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag or package, or place tape across the battery's contacts to isolate terminals.
    Take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting a high degree of pressure on the battery, as this can cause an internal short circuit, resulting in overheating.
    Size Limits for Lithium Batteries:

    Passengers are permitted to travel with lithium ion batteries that contain a maximum of 160 watt hours per battery. Any lithium ion battery containing more than 160 watt hours is prohibited from carriage on all passenger aircraft. Lithium ion batteries installed in a personal electronic device can be transported as checked or carry on baggage. Lithium ion batteries not installed in a device (spares) must be in carry-on baggage and no more than two (2) spares between 100 and 160 watt hours are allowed.

    For more information on traveling with batteries please review the DOT Safe Travel Tips and the supporting file for Acceptance Guidelines.
     
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  17. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    Thanks Man. I appreciate your advice. Big Help on the Lithium battery regs. The only difference is I am using Masterlock padlocks so TSA cannot open without cutting and because I have a gun in the same case.
     
  18. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    Delta might be getting some money from me soon if they will match my American Executive Platinum Status. I've always flown US AIRWAYS and with the American merger it's been nothing but problems for me.
     
  19. III% Streve

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    Ar you booking your own air? Or company planned?
     
  20. 400ftFLORIDIAN

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    I book my own travel. It's really the only way it would work, my schedule changes at the drop of a hat.