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Author Topic: Flying with Recording Equipment  (Read 17218 times)

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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Flying with Recording Equipment
« on: December 03, 2004, 11:22:58 AM »
I searched and searched and searched and couldn't find a thread in the Archival Info forum on flying with gear, so...

Thanks to everyone who's chimed in over time on the various threads about flying with gear.  Some rough notes from those threads:

  • Allocate extra time to get through security - I've had it take anywhere from an extra 5min to 60min
  • Remain calm and act professional at all times
  • Carry on your gear - mics, pre, ADC, recorder, batteries, cables, shockmounts, etc.  Do NOT check it.
  • TSA / the airline may or may not require you to check your stand, depending on the airport, personnel on duty, airline, etc.  Bottom line:  be prepared to check it.  IME, they won't allow you to ship the stand loose, it requires packing of some sort.  Most shipping supply shops will carry cardboard tubes that work well for packing stands.
  • If discussing gear or answering questions, refer to your batteries as "power supplies", not "batteries"
  • Leave the bat...I mean power supplies disconnected
  • Carry Material Safety Data Sheets for your (ahem) power supplies.  For SLAs, you can find them here:
  • Let the security personnel know up front your bag of "professional audio recording equipment" is usually flagged for a follow-up check after running it through the X-ray machine - I find this helps set them at ease and also suggests you've been through this before and that it's totally routine for your gear
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 07:03:32 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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Offline spyder9

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2005, 02:50:00 PM »
Below is a nice mic stand case for flying.  Hand made for Native American Indian flutes, but can be made for any length.  Plastic tubes, hand stitched nylon wrap, with padding.  Raven is the one I'm going to order, as pictured below.  A little pricey, but well made, with plenty of room to toss in clamps, bungys and what not.  Good investment if you fly alot with your equipment.  Checking it at the desk would be a relief.

http://oregonflutestore.com/home/of1/smartlist_24/protective_flute__cases.html

« Last Edit: December 14, 2006, 02:32:47 AM by spyder9 »

Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 07:03:22 PM »
I haven't had problems in the past, but on my return trip from Jackson, WY the screeners would not let me through with my Eco-charge EC-90.  I had no Issues leaving Cleveland Hopkins, but it was a no go on the return trip.  I had the documentation from Eco-Charge but it still wasn't enough.  I'm thinking I might have been ok if I had it padded in a small Pelican Case, but I couldn't get a straight answer. They got hung up on line 2 "The batteries need to be properly packaged for protection against short circuits and secured in a rugged outer package".  I had the battery in it's padded carrying bag and it was packed in clothes in my carry on, they wouldn't accept it in my check baggage either.  As a last resort I placed it in a Fed-Ex drop box in hopes that it might get back home.  To save the hassle next time I might have a ground shipping plan in place if the airline or security will not let it through.
Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
Girls always up on Andy tryin to grab these mics, the scratches are from their wedding rings.

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Offline spyder9

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2005, 09:59:13 PM »
I haven't had problems in the past, but on my return trip from Jackson, WY the screeners would not let me through with my Eco-charge EC-90.  I had no Issues leaving Cleveland Hopkins, but it was a no go on the return trip.  I had the documentation from Eco-Charge but it still wasn't enough.  I'm thinking I might have been ok if I had it padded in a small Pelican Case, but I couldn't get a straight answer. They got hung up on line 2 "The batteries need to be properly packaged for protection against short circuits and secured in a rugged outer package".  I had the battery in it's padded carrying bag and it was packed in clothes in my carry on, they wouldn't accept it in my check baggage either.  As a last resort I placed it in a Fed-Ex drop box in hopes that it might get back home.  To save the hassle next time I might have a ground shipping plan in place if the airline or security will not let it through.

Telling them they are power supplies, not batteries, goes along way with the TSA.

http://www.ecocharge.com/PDF_forms/transportationpolicy.pdf
« Last Edit: July 13, 2005, 05:06:09 PM by spyder9 »

Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2005, 05:21:58 PM »
I haven't had problems in the past, but on my return trip from Jackson, WY the screeners would not let me through with my Eco-charge EC-90.  I had no Issues leaving Cleveland Hopkins, but it was a no go on the return trip.  I had the documentation from Eco-Charge but it still wasn't enough.  I'm thinking I might have been ok if I had it padded in a small Pelican Case, but I couldn't get a straight answer. They got hung up on line 2 "The batteries need to be properly packaged for protection against short circuits and secured in a rugged outer package".  I had the battery in it's padded carrying bag and it was packed in clothes in my carry on, they wouldn't accept it in my check baggage either.  As a last resort I placed it in a Fed-Ex drop box in hopes that it might get back home.  To save the hassle next time I might have a ground shipping plan in place if the airline or security will not let it through.

Telling them they are power supplies, not batteries, goes along way with the TSA.

http://www.ecocharge.com/PDF_forms/transportationpolicy.pdf


Yes, but the link you provided, which is the documentation I had, cleary states that it is a Sealed Lead Acid Battery Sysyem.  I personally referred to it as a "power supply".  The TSA in my case brought it down to United and asked if they would allow it in my carry on or check baggage, United told me I needed to find an alternate way to transport the battery and that they considered it "hazerdous material" reguardless of the provided documentation.

It just arrived yesterday from Fed-Ex, I dropped it in the Fed-Ex drop box and it probably left on the next United flight the next day.  I'm guessing their packages don't go through as much if any screening at all.  It cost a few dollars, but I'm very happy to see that it made it.
Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
Girls always up on Andy tryin to grab these mics, the scratches are from their wedding rings.

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V3 / PMD671 / field ready DV-RA1000 / M1

Offline keepongoin

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2005, 06:22:19 PM »
I haven't had problems in the past, but on my return trip from Jackson, WY the screeners would not let me through with my Eco-charge EC-90.  I had no Issues leaving Cleveland Hopkins, but it was a no go on the return trip.  I had the documentation from Eco-Charge but it still wasn't enough.  I'm thinking I might have been ok if I had it padded in a small Pelican Case, but I couldn't get a straight answer. They got hung up on line 2 "The batteries need to be properly packaged for protection against short circuits and secured in a rugged outer package".  I had the battery in it's padded carrying bag and it was packed in clothes in my carry on, they wouldn't accept it in my check baggage either.  As a last resort I placed it in a Fed-Ex drop box in hopes that it might get back home.  To save the hassle next time I might have a ground shipping plan in place if the airline or security will not let it through.

Telling them they are power supplies, not batteries, goes along way with the TSA.

http://www.ecocharge.com/PDF_forms/transportationpolicy.pdf


Yes, but the link you provided, which is the documentation I had, cleary states that it is a Sealed Lead Acid Battery Sysyem.  I personally referred to it as a "power supply".  The TSA in my case brought it down to United and asked if they would allow it in my carry on or check baggage, United told me I needed to find an alternate way to transport the battery and that they considered it "hazerdous material" reguardless of the provided documentation.

It just arrived yesterday from Fed-Ex, I dropped it in the Fed-Ex drop box and it probably left on the next United flight the next day.  I'm guessing their packages don't go through as much if any screening at all.  It cost a few dollars, but I'm very happy to see that it made it.

The TSA people you dealt with should be given 30 lashes and have their pay cut. 

Their paperwork CLEARLY states that any sealed battery, including SLAs are safe to travel on a plane.  Any battery that unsealed is not permitted, even in an electric wheelchair. 
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Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2005, 11:33:59 PM »
The TSA people you dealt with should be given 30 lashes and have their pay cut. 

Their paperwork CLEARLY states that any sealed battery, including SLAs are safe to travel on a plane.  Any battery that unsealed is not permitted, even in an electric wheelchair. 

It also states "The batteries need to be properly packaged for protection against short circuits and secured in a rugged outer package".  Next time I'll have it in a Pelican Case so they have little to question.

I had the battery in the soft zipper pouch that comes with it.  Despite what the paperwork states, the airline and or the TSA have the right to deny whatever they please.  If you ever run into a situation like this, I'd suggest keeping your calm regaurdless of how rediculous their decision is, with a few strokes of a key pad you could be easily flagged in the nice new TSA passenger database.
Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
Girls always up on Andy tryin to grab these mics, the scratches are from their wedding rings.

CMC641 / DPA4022 / DPA4062>mod MPS6030
V3 / PMD671 / field ready DV-RA1000 / M1

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2005, 05:46:02 PM »
glad this subject is being tossed around

what type pf category does the Wally-world type of Li-on fall under here for MSDS reasons.

i will be traveling by plane here shortly and want to make sure i have the proper documentation for the equipment i have.

it seems that the MSDS that are provided here describe a different type of power supply then what i am using, and i am afraid that if i was carrying a MSDS that described in detail the appearance of a battery that looks nothing at all from the one I am carrying that anything i said from that point on would lose all credibility, not to mention the fact that i look like a hippie extremist who is likely to be profiled halfway in line :-[

here are a few pic's of the batt.. ahmm...."power supply's" to make sure were clear on what type I'm using

TIA
Jesse


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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2005, 09:22:15 PM »
glad this subject is being tossed around

what type pf category does the Wally-world type of Li-on fall under here for MSDS reasons.

i will be traveling by plane here shortly and want to make sure i have the proper documentation for the equipment i have.

it seems that the MSDS that are provided here describe a different type of power supply then what i am using, and i am afraid that if i was carrying a MSDS that described in detail the appearance of a battery that looks nothing at all from the one I am carrying that anything i said from that point on would lose all credibility, not to mention the fact that i look like a hippie extremist who is likely to be profiled halfway in line :-[

here are a few pic's of the batt.. ahmm...."power supply's" to make sure were clear on what type I'm using

TIA
Jesse

I think my problem was that I had a Sealed LEAD ACID (SLA) battery, they said if it were a something like a camera battery or alkaline, NiMH or NiCD rechargables wouldn't have been an issue.  Lead Acid batteries ARE hazerdous material, the other problem with them is they are virtually impossible to see inside when sent through the scanner.  I highly doubt you'd have a problem with the Li-ion battery. 
Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
Girls always up on Andy tryin to grab these mics, the scratches are from their wedding rings.

CMC641 / DPA4022 / DPA4062>mod MPS6030
V3 / PMD671 / field ready DV-RA1000 / M1

Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2005, 11:00:22 AM »
Thanks to Damon for this list of permitted / not permitted objects on planes, per the TSA:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=47428.0;id=15350

Though it doesn't address our gear specifically (mic stands, etc.), it's easy to see why often people have trouble getting mic stands on as carry-ons.
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Offline thoman8r

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2006, 12:34:53 PM »
  • TSA / the airline may or may not require you to check your stand, depending on the airport, personnel on duty, airline, etc.  Bottom line:  be prepared to check it.  IME, they won't allow you to ship the stand loose, it requires packing of some sort.  Most shipping supply shops will carry cardboard tubes that work well for packing stands.
FWIW, I've flown with my mic stand several times and have never had a problem checking it without a box.  They just stick a luggage tag on it and it usually comes out with the oversized items at the baggage claim.
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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2007, 10:08:49 PM »
They also gave me a problem with some sla batteries.
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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2007, 08:08:48 PM »
Thanks to Damon for this list of permitted / not permitted objects on planes, per the TSA:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=47428.0;id=15350

Though it doesn't address our gear specifically (mic stands, etc.), it's easy to see why often people have trouble getting mic stands on as carry-ons.

they dont even allow a bic in the checked luggage....surprising.  i think i have been in violation of this.

Offline danlynch

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2007, 09:45:16 PM »
I packed both of my big li-ion batteries in the checked bag.  The carry-on was the rest of the big rig, mics in the wooden boxes, apogee mini-me, cables, Microtrack, etc.  When the bag was scanned at JFK, the security guy was not even looking at the screen, he was talking to someone on his left.
In Iceland, the guy said "electronic equipment?" and I said "yes" and he said "ok".  That was it.

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Re: Flying with Recording Equipment
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2007, 08:06:10 AM »
I've encountered a problem once when I stuffed my tiny Dynamic Audio Card's into my Timberland shoe (in hopes that the shoe would help protect the mics from the rest of my luggage.  The British version of TSA tore open my whole bag and inspected the mics pretty closely before letting me through.  Apparantly the X-Ray machine revealed wiring insde of a shoe and that was enough to spook them.  The moral here is don't chuck your gear in your shoes!
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