International flights with large lipo packs

Discussion in 'CineStar FAQ - Tips and Tricks' started by Jack Wrangham, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Paul conto

    Paul conto Member

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    I've never had someone question the number of packs I've carried. So long as there in a hard case and the terminals are taped up all the normally want to do is swipe the packs with there testers
     
  2. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    It all depends on the officials you encounter, I find that caring a copy of the lipos invoice as well as pictures of the lipos on the copter on the ground and flying helps to show the officials what they are, a must is also make sure all terminals are cover by electrical tape and perhaps go to the airport with extra time for the added delay back in the film days we had to cary motion picture film in cans the film is sensitive and could not be X rated most of the time the officials accommodate us by hand checking each can in a dark bag I carried but once in a wille I would find a wall of "no sr cant be done" I found that with time on your side and a lot of persistence, patients and politeness on the way I ask, I got trough, I alway thought that from the officials perspective the Lipos or the film cans look very suspicious they are just doing their job
     
  3. Scott Stemm

    Scott Stemm Member

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    You are only allowed in checked baggage if installed in the device it is to be used it IE: computer, cell phone etc. all other lithium batteries must be hand carried. A good guild. I carry a copy with me to show as I have had several security people tell me I needed to check them and then very nicely showed them the rules on carrying them. They confirmed on their system and everything was ok and thanked me for the information.

    http://forum.freeflysystems.com/index.php?attachments/airline_passengers_and_batteries-pdf.2088/
     
  4. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    I read that paper before and it kind of shoots us in the foot if we show that paper to officials, it limits how many batteries we can carry
    obviously we need more than 2 Lipos....hmmm did I understand right ??
     
  5. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Sometimes it is luck. If in doubt ship them express like FedEx or DHL.
     
  6. Scott Stemm

    Scott Stemm Member

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    It says large lithos of 8 grams or more you are allowed only 2 8000s and larger . 6500s and smaller were under the 8 grams and those you can carry more. 6500s have 7.6 grams and I don't see a limit on smaller lipos as stated in the Q and A section
    The equation to figure out is in the beginning of this post from Andy Johnson Laid

    There is no limit to the number of consumer-size batteries or battery-powered devices that a passenger can carry. Only the larger lithium ion batteries are limited to two (2) batteries per passenger
     
  7. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    I did ship with Fedex once in the US and it was just a little more paperwork to fill up it is better to ship directly at a Fedex or UPS center where the attendants know their stuff very well, the smaller UPS stores or Kinkos etc. may have attendants with less knowledge of the paperwork needed and could make mistakes that you pay latter, now shipping international may have many roadblocks and delays due to customs in the destination country.
     
  8. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Scott you are absolutely correct until humans who don't understand any of the regulations simply say NO. NO is easier than figuring it out.
     
  9. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    Ok so officially you are aloud 2 8000.. mine are 8,5g that means we should have in our Lipo collection a bunch of 6500 that are less than 8g just in case interesting, how about to carry also a scale too so when the argument gets difficult you get it down to the specifics
     
  10. Scott Stemm

    Scott Stemm Member

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    It's not the overall weight of the battery it's the amount of lithium in the battery
     
  11. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    But how do you measure that to determine what battery is over the limit, plus trying to explain that to a official is another dilemma, I say the paper is great but to use it only when everything else has fail
     
  12. Scott Stemm

    Scott Stemm Member

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    It's all in the formula from Andy



    I just looked at:
    http://safetravel.dot.gov/definitions.html

    My understanding is that you're not allowed to take Lithium batteries on board that have more than 25 grams Equivalent Lithium Content (ELC). To derive the ELC for a battery you can use this formula:

    ELC = Capacity_in_mAh / 1000 * Storage_voltage / 12.5
    Simplifying that down:
    ELC = Capacity_in_mAh * Storage_voltage / 12500

    So for a QC9000
    ELC = 9000 * 14.8 / 12500
    ELC = 10.656 grams

    (Oh, and by the way, you cannot take LiPo battery with a capacity of greater than 20,000 mAh -- should they be made!)

    Thus, these are classified as "Larger Lithium Batteries."

    See http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html
    The flight batteries will be classified as "Spare Batteries" as they're not installed in equipment.
    You may not pack "Spare Batteries" in your checked baggage, but you can have them in carry-on baggage.
    For "personal use" there is "generally no restriction on the number of spare batteries."

    http://safetravel.dot.gov/larger_batt.html
    "You are allowed one larger lithium battery installed in a device plus 2 spare larger lithium batteries."
    (This conveniently contradicts the "personal use" statement above.)

    Hope this helps.

    Andy.
     
  13. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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  14. Alex Fuller

    Alex Fuller Member

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    Any more stories on traveling internationally with large capacity LiPo's? I will be flying into Colombia this month and undecided whether to ship or fly with my batteries. I was given a tip that you can just make your own MAH labels for your batteries, perhaps changing my 8000's to 4000's.....Seems like it would help get larger batteries through since theres no way the security would check anything other than the label.

    As for shipping, FedEx to Colombia is ok? What is the best packing method? Obviously fireproof lipo bags and tape up terminals.

    Crossing my fingers they all arrive safely!
     
  15. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    Alex the correct way is to take your lipos on board with you cover the terminals with electrical tape and put them in a safe lipo bag the best one for me is this one http://team-blacksheep.com/products/prod:liposafety because it does not scream fire hazard when you pull it out of your bag for inspection, from the US I don't think you will have much trouble other than the standard X ray and the inspector swiping the batteries for traces of something its on the way back that you have to worry Colombia has several checkpoints for cary on bags and they are very meticulous and any of those can be your nighmare I would take plenty of photos and video if possible of your copter with the batteries on board to explain faster what they are, I would take a volt meter so that you can prove that indeed is a battery, take extra time at the airport on your way back you may need it

    Shipping may take way longer to clear cost more since its a fire hazard materials and cost import duties
     
  16. Alex Fuller

    Alex Fuller Member

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    Thank you for the tips! Fortunately I am only flying INTO Colombia, and we fly OUT of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. My main concern is just getting the batteries there so I can complete the job. Going to ship half and carry on the other half. Got any other general tips for travel to SA with copter gear? Thanks Jose!
     
  17. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    When you leave the US make a detail list of everything you are taking specially stuff with serial numbers go early to the airport and look for the customs window or office there ask for form Customs form #4455 (020984) or download it on line take it to the custom officer and have them check your gear and stamp the form and your list it will help you on your way back to the US but it will help you a lot with customs in other countries because it shows that you have the intention of returning to the US with all of your gear
    Shipping to me is very risky that the batteries will take a long time to clear customs
     
  18. Klaus Friedrich

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    I'll have a question so I want to reopen the discussion here. To take more lithium ion batteries with you on your flight you can use the rule to carry batteries up to 100 watt-hours. From what I understood the only limit is your hand language weight maximum with your airline carrier.

    Having said this and taking into account the requirements from freefly for ALTA using 6S battery packs I could imagine to use either some 3S 9000mAh and add them in a row or 6S with 4500mA and connect them parallel.

    Has anyone experience with series or parallel connection of battery packs used at an ALTA?
     
  19. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Klaus not specific to the Alta but multiple connections generally adds more failure points. IF i remember correctly if you have two connections you have 4x the possible failures and so on. It is a catch 22 situation when it comes to batteries these days. Other than carry on the only 'legal' alternative would be to ship them in advance and the costs for hazmat can be pretty steep. Price it into your rates...
     

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