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Old 07-08-2016, 19:40   #1
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Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Can an inflatable PFD legally and/or safely travel on an airplane? Assume that a cartridge is installed and activated, of course.

Thanks for any insight,
Matthias


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Old 07-08-2016, 20:12   #2
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Howdy.
You don't say where you are flying from. Here is what I found related to the TSA, the relevant authority in the USA.

Here is the page you need.
Look down the list to "Small Compressed Gas Cartridges"

I will print that page with the link and official numbers and pack that with the PFD. I also kept a copy of the page on my iPad to show TSA agents if needed.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...ohibited-items

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-08-2016, 20:19   #3
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Thank you so much, perfect answer and source!!!

Yes, domestic U.S. or international from/to U.S.

Of course... "The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint." Hopefully, rubbing a printed copy of that web page in their face would help.

Cheers,
Matthias


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Old 07-08-2016, 20:33   #4
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Well... all flights crossing significant water have PFDs with the CO2 inflation cartridges.
The same type CO2 cyl will be right there under EACH seat of most airliners.
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Old 07-08-2016, 21:24   #5
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Yeah, that's the common sense argument... except, common sense doesn't apply to the TSA. They make such a big fuss over aerosol cans and such that I was getting concerned regarding a charged cartridge. Thankfully, it doesn't appear to be a problem.

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Old 08-08-2016, 02:22   #6
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlobalPlayer View Post
Yeah, that's the common sense argument... except, common sense doesn't apply to the TSA. They make such a big fuss over aerosol cans and such that I was getting concerned regarding a charged cartridge. Thankfully, it doesn't appear to be a problem.

Matthias


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Ive

Hi Matthias, I've taken them on many flights, i ring the airline the day or two before a flight to let them know i have it in my luggage, i've been told it can't be done a few times and after i asked to speak with someone more superior they generally agree its ok.
i would not turn up at a checkin with it expecting to fly though, i also have to make the security screening staff are aware of it BEFORE ITS SCREENED otherwise you can expect to leave it at the airport They don't like surprises!!!
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:44   #7
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Howdy.
You don't say where you are flying from. Here is what I found related to the TSA, the relevant authority in the USA.

Here is the page you need.
Look down the list to "Small Compressed Gas Cartridges"

I will print that page with the link and official numbers and pack that with the PFD. I also kept a copy of the page on my iPad to show TSA agents if needed.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...ohibited-items

Hope that helps.
Thanks for posting the link. Ive gotten them thru in my checked baggage before, but never looked up the official policy. Good to know. And a good idea to stow the printed reference along with them I think.

"Small Compressed Gas Cartridges

Up to two in life vests and two spares. The spares must accompany the personal flotation device and presented as one unit."
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:11   #8
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

This topic is covered in a few other threads here on the forums, so there may be a bit more information elsewhere that's worth looking into. Though as stated, check the regulations yourself, & take a few printed copies with you.
Also, on questionable things like this, it usually is wise to also contact the specific airline about their rules. And to get/carry a copy of anything that they have which is relevant as well. In the languges of any & all countries which you may land in, for say, a layover or refueling. And or reasonably be diverted to.
Personally, I'm thinking that it wouldn't hurt to have the manufacturer's spec sheet, & manual/information for your gear with you as well.

Plus, it's common sense, but don't give anyone official a difficult time. Be polite, professional, & firm (if needed). And of course, remove the cartridge from the arming mechanisim prior to putting things into your baggage.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:44   #9
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

In the past 5 years or so, I have taken inflatable PFD's with cartridge installed (in our luggage) to France, Greece, Turkey, Belize and BVI's and Italy. Never has there been an issue or comment. I don't even mention it when checking the baggage.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:00   #10
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

Again, thanks for everybody's reassurances... and, yes, the TSA regulations do make a specific exemption for life vests (which is repeated by a few airlines and their web sites that I have checked since).

It's an exemption because CO2 cartridges are, in fact, prohibited otherwise. For example, you can't take a Sodastream thing aboard, nor can you bring the smaller N2O crackers found elsewhere. However, in Europe nobody seems to care about the latter, as kids frequently travel with their new drug of choice to far-away festivals.

Anyway, I'll put it into checked baggage along with a TSA web page print-out and keep my fingers crossed.

Thanks again, everybody.
Matthias
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:11   #11
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

I have done this twice. First it was from OAK to Oslo with no problem. I did have the printed TSA rules available and got questions from the security people. I decided to put the PFDs in my carry on bag so that I could confront the questions myself. So the first time it went well. But the second time, I got to Norway OK, but coming back through Gatwick in the UK, I got stopped and the security person refused to let me take the CO2 cartridges on board, so I had to unscrew them (two PFDs) and leave them behind. So do get the TSA rules printed out but be ready to have a discussion. Good luck and happy sailing.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:16   #12
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

You may find this page useful:

http://www.ussailing.org/traveling-w...e-for-takeoff/

As someone who lectures on offshore sailing safety around the world, I get this question a lot. My answer is, unfortunately, vague. While this exception is called out in the CFRs for the U.S., it's difficult to know how other countries will handle the question. But, more importantly, if you are taken to task by a TSA agent who basically disagrees with any documentation you provide to him/her, then you're faced with a potential $140 loss (and no life jacket when you land wherever). Two Hammar rearming kits (one on the LJ, one spare) would be a lot of money to risk.

So, when asked the question, "can I fly with my inflatable life jacket", I tell people that we simply can't predict what will happen at your airport on the day you choose to fly.

I had a 12g (very small) rearming cylinder in my backpack a few years ago which fit a Stormy Seas jacket. I had the cylinder, but not the jacket. You would have thought that I had an AR 15 slung across my chest. The TSA guy took the tiny cylinder and took down my personal information. So, a cylinder with a life jacket is a problem, but two cylinders with a life jacket is not a problem. Go figure.

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Old 08-08-2016, 09:32   #13
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

JetBlue usually has a sign on their ticket counters saying that CO2 cartridges are not permitted on their flights in either checked or carry on bags. When I questioned them about it in Reno the ticket agent said this was their policy despite what the TSA policy is.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:35   #14
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

I have always considered that the airlines do not scan baggage, but TSA does. So only the TSA will know whether a PFD is there, and they allow it.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:46   #15
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Re: Inflatable PFD on airplane?

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JetBlue usually has a sign on their ticket counters saying that CO2 cartridges are not permitted on their flights in either checked or carry on bags. When I questioned them about it in Reno the ticket agent said this was their policy despite what the TSA policy is.
As I recall, the actual regulation says something about "with permission of the aircraft operator" which was always sort of vague in my mind. Not the "pilot in command" or the "airline". I suspect that airlines can enforce tighter requirements.

Try shipping parachute flares sometime...
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