TSA and Lithium Ion Batteries?

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#1
What is the current TSA position on bringing drones and batteries either onboard, or in checked luggage when flying? What is allowed? I'd like to know before packing my gear, or even whether or not I should bring it.
 

LuvMyTJ

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#3
I have flown in the lower 48 many times with cameras, drones and lots of batteries. You can ONLY carry them on, NEVER check them. Years ago TSA would open the case and look at, swab it down, etc, now TSA is so used to drones they usually don't give them a second look.
 
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#4
I have flown in the lower 48 many times with cameras, drones and lots of batteries. You can ONLY carry them on, NEVER check them. Years ago TSA would open the case and look at, swab it down, etc, now TSA is so used to drones they usually don't give them a second look.
Ok, thanks. That's good to know. This will be my first time traveling with my drones.
 
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#5
Hmmmmm. Leaving the little lady home? Let us know how that works out, you may be starting a NEW movement.
#dronegoeswifedont
 
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#6
Hmmmmm. Leaving the little lady home? Let us know how that works out, you may be starting a NEW movement.
#dronegoeswifedont
Nah.... This is an in-law run to FL for a few days. Spring break. A drone is going just not the Solo. :( Taking the Mavic instead. Much smaller and easier to travel with.
 
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#7
blasphemy . I noticed you guys said you traveled with the 48 states.. Any experience overseas?
 
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#9
For what it's worth it actually isn't the TSA this time. It's the IACA and FAA. And the letter of the law is that you can check your drone with (1) battery INSTALLED that is drained below 30%. I just flew transatlantic this way, one battery installed in my bird in the GPC flight case, the others in my carry-on [ask me sometime about moving your life across the Atlantic ocean and just how many Li-Ion batteries you end up carrying in your hand luggage].

Now, the caveat to all this is that the captain has the ultimate and final say over what is carried on the aircraft. And to a lesser extent the airline can simply change the rules as it sees fit.
 
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#10
For what it's worth it actually isn't the TSA this time. It's the IACA and FAA. And the letter of the law is that you can check your drone with (1) battery INSTALLED that is drained below 30%. I just flew transatlantic this way, one battery installed in my bird in the GPC flight case, the others in my carry-on [ask me sometime about moving your life across the Atlantic ocean and just how many Li-Ion batteries you end up carrying in your hand luggage].

Now, the caveat to all this is that the captain has the ultimate and final say over what is carried on the aircraft. And to a lesser extent the airline can simply change the rules as it sees fit.
Yes, but you have to get through TSA, before you can get to the plane/pilot. :) BTW, they never even asked me to open up the case, much less check the battery charge level. So much for our shoes and taking our laptops out! Sigh.
 
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#15
I took mine overseas 1.5 yrs ago. It went well. Before I left, I obtained the battery MDS from 3DR, printed out the IATA and FAA regs, and crossed my fingers. At the time, the correct charge level was about 40-50%, and cover the contact terminals with cardboard and painters tape - to prevent accidental shorts.

But ultimately, it is up to the airline and the captain, and who knows how that goes from flight to flight.

Print out the attached in color, and at least it shows your are acting professional about the topic. If this were a cargo shipment or merchandise shipped to a store, the MDS is a requirement for any carrier to accept it.

Unlike two years ago, if the folks on the return side cause trouble and you have to ditch the batteries, new ones these days are relatively cheap - not so when I traveled.

The old saying with photography and traveling - film is cheap - airplane tickets and hotels are expensive. Substitute "Solo batteries" for "film."

Good luck travelers.
 

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