How is it exactly that I fly commercially with my rig? I want to carry it on. My rig has a cypress. Will not that interest the xray people? And if so how do I get past them?
It's simple, you sling it over your back and carry it on the plane. Chances are that XRay folks have seen one before, if not there's always the Cypres card.
That said, I've taken my rig as carry on and I won't do it again. Too much time worrying about protecting handles, the pilot chute, etc... The last time I traveled with my rig I put it in a suitcase and insured that suitcase for $5000.00. It's a lot easier that way.
Get a gearbag...its good to have just to protect your gear anyways and is really good for the plane. I would always bring my rig on the plane as a carry on...just for the reason that I have gotten my luggage lost before. I dont really need that hassle. Even if you insure it...its not worth the hassle of getting all new gear and missing a good portion of the season waiting for it if you want custom stuff. I havent gotten a hassle yet about it but you do have the cypress card. I travel quite a bit and I usually go with the rule "bring the essentials on the plane with you...check the stuff that you can buy at your destination if the airline looses it." I would be pissed if I took the time and money out for a vacation and I dont have a rig to jump. I can always buy new socks if they lose those. Just my opinion.
I would think that they would get nervous if you take a rig on a airline. I don't know since I don't have one nor never tried. But this is a great question as my wife and I are going to get rigs next year and jump in Cancun.
The airline people usually won't care. I keep mine in the gear bag so I have all my gear when I get to my destination. I can always get some socks and t-shirts if they get lost. Of the times I have carried a rig on the security people never have given me problems. I had one security guy ask me a few questions and asked if I could open my rig, but I explained to him quickly about spring loaded reserve pilot chutes and such and he let me pass. As far as the CYPRES goes the security people have probably seen one before and if not you should have the card that shows them what the unit will look like under the x-ray. If you want to take your rig someplace I would carry it on so the baggage morons don't pull throw it around or anything. You shouldn't have any problems, even if you just throw it over your shoulder with no gear bag. I have done this a few times and you get some good questions from whuffos on the flight and in the gate. If you don't have the card with your cypres you can get one from airtec or ssk. I hope the info helps.
I have carried my rig on several times, including an international trip to Ireland (on Delta). I've never had any problems. I take all the crap out of my gear bag, helmet, jumpsuits, dytter, etc. and put it in a hard sided checked bag. I don't want anybody to complain about the size of my gearbag with everything in it. I care the CYPRES card with me and nobody has every asked to see it.
I have had friends just carry the parachute out in the open. One of them was stopped by police in Indianapolis and made to answer many questions, till they finally called Delta (his employer even) and Delta didn't understand what the problem was. A gear bag is a good idea for protection and ease of passages.
i took my gear with me on several airlines all across the states. the only thing i ever heard was from the ticcket counter. they asked me if my back pack woould fit under the seat. granted i don't have a cypress the x-ray people never gave me an problem.
<wingnut> "if dreams are like movies, then memories are like films about ghosts"-counting crows
The question was posed several times in the short period that I followed rec.skydiving, and the answers always included at least 2 of the following: 1) calling the airline ahead of time to get an official statement of their policy on parachutes (get a paper copy if you can), b) carrying it on rather than checking it, and IV) bringing along a copy of <A HREF="http://www.pia.com/SSK/cypres/dot_pr_082500.pdf" target="_new">DOT's acknowledgement</A> that CYPRES units do not pose a threat to airliners.
Some people recommended against calling the airline and asking, implying that they might flag your ticket as belonging to a potential terrorist, but you can always avoid giving your name and address until you hear their policy and request a paper copy.
I've read a few threads on this and IIRC, Southwest at the very least is cool about it. Most people just bring their Cypres card and the security folks don't give you any hassles. Just make sure your Cypres is off before you board.
I plan on carrying mine onboard, if for no other reason than to see the other passengers' faces. There was a thread here a while back with people telling funny stories of how people reacted when they carried their rigs on.
Zennie: How is it that you know so much, you just started jumping? I am impressed.
Heh. I read a lot.
I lurked rec.skydiving for about a year before my first jump. Also hung out on the web boards and read Poynter/Turoff's book before I made my first jump. I've read all of the incident reports (both US and international) and all of the Cypres saves.
I also subscribe to Parachutist & Skydiving mags & read them cover-to-cover. And I talk skydiving with just about anyone willing to talk abut it.
Many stores sell travel luggage that is an approved size for carry on. Mine has wheels and a handle that extends, but many rigs would be too large to fit in it. That would be my only concern, is if the rig and whatever you might put it in was bigger than what the airline allows for carry on. Many are not too strict, but some are.