LiPo batteries and TSA

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Sparky
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LiPo batteries and TSA

Postby Sparky » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:18 pm

Does anyone have any experience with transporting the EF-1 LiPo batteries on the airlines?
I know they can't be in checked luggage and must be carried on the plane but the place that I'm concerned about is the TSA idiots saying it looks like a bomb (in the wrong hands it is) therefore you can't take it with you. I'm also contacting the TSA and asking them as well.
Hard to find out as I'm getting ready to fly out and can't take my power with me. I plan to take 3 or 4 batteries out to the PHX race with me and ship (FedEx) my planes.


cbk07
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Re: LiPo batteries and TSA

Postby cbk07 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:29 pm

The problem with TSA is that if the agent looking at your stuff does not like what he/she sees, they can confiscate it whether or not it meets the guidelines. If you are shipping planes anyway, why not just put batteries in the box with them? I always ship my Lipo pack from my starter in the same box as my planes via Fedex ground to eliminate any possible issues


twitte
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Re: LiPo batteries and TSA

Postby twitte » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:54 pm

Last year when I traveled to Italy with a dozen lipo batteries, I had no problems with TSA or the Italians. All batteries were in my carry-on bag.

BUT, on the way home, Jim Nikodem had ALL of his batteries confiscated. Tim and Bruce, who arrived at the airport after Jim and I, had their batteries taken, as well.

There is no rhyme or reason with TSA. True there are guidelines that they have to follow, but if they get a funny feeling or you look strange, they can do whatever they want.

I suggest that you ship your batteries either in your plane box or in a separate box (properly labeled).

Trey


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Sparky
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Re: LiPo batteries and TSA

Postby Sparky » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:51 pm

I looked around on line TSA site.
It appears that the LiPo that we use in EF-1 should be OK as it is below the 100W/hr VoltsxAmps so we are in the 50W/hr per pack range.
If I ship FedEx ground I am good but LiPo's cant go regular FedEx air.
Sparky


twitte
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Re: LiPo batteries and TSA

Postby twitte » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:30 pm

Sparky,

Yes, on the FedEx Ground. You have to plan ahead to make sure they are there on time.

I am going to Japan this year and will have to send my comp batteries a month in advance!!

Trey


KRProton
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Re: LiPo batteries and TSA

Postby KRProton » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:33 am

About five years ago I flew to San Diego with a bunch of F5D batteries (2S and 3S 1800mAh packs) packed in my carry-on transmitter case (alongside my transmitter). I also flew to Austria and Italy with a GOB of same size batteries - so many that I had one case for just batteries and another case for my transmitter. Through TSA checkpoints, customs, security, everything, much to my relief nobody ever blinked an eye! One agent along one of those trips even said "you fly RC airplanes huh?"

However, as Trey mentioned, on the way back home from Italy, this tough-looking balled-headed guy snagged ALL of my and my teammate's LiPos at security in Italy. As I think it was Chris said, they can do what they want even if your luggage meets specifications, but I wasn't going to argue with anybody given the situation. I just think they didn't know what they were doing.

I think it was Dan Kane who suggested carrying with you a print out of the FAA guidelines. I wouldn't hesitate to fly anywhere in the US with LiPos. As you know, they must be in your carry on and cannot be over 100 Watt hours of energy:

mAh x pack Voltage \ 1000 = Watt hours

Your typical 2700mAh 4S EF1 pack will be 2700mAh x 16.8V = 45,360 milli Watt hours / 1000 = 45.35 Watt hours, so you're not even half the maximum.

Tim


ronin4740
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Re: LiPo batteries and TSA

Postby ronin4740 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:28 pm

I flew with a bunch of little Lipo's from Reno to Las Vegas last year as well as a couple of Inductrix sized drones and my transmitter in my carry on backpack (had my laptop in there too!) without issue. I told the TSA agent what was in the backpack prior and he said it wasn't a problem... I had called the airline and looked up the rules prior to flying as well and knew it shouldn't be.

That said it's good to know the rules and I would have had no problem asking to speak to the TSA supervisor and having them look up the rules on batteries had they tried to confiscate mine. My normal set of EF1 batteries for a race weekend equates to several hundred dollars worth of equipment - I would not simply have let TSA have them.

Anyway Tim's beaten me to the punch here but thought I'd share my experience.

Chris


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