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PlaneFun

Carry-On on Check Rig on Airlines?

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17 hours ago, PlaneFun said:

Just wondering if most people carry on their rig on check it down below. This would be for travel within the U.S.A.

Also, do you "disguise" your rig  in a bag or rig sleeve?

 

Be aware security may demand you open the main and reserve. It does not matter if you have the X-ray cards and USPA letter and all, they can demand it and you can't expect to change their mind.

Be aware that carrying your rig around exposed might cause some nervous Nellie to get security involved. No matter how cool it might seem to get on a commercial flight with your rig on your back, it draws unwanted attention and could result in skydivers being treated worse in the future.

 

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21 minutes ago, sundevil777 said:

No matter how cool it might seem to get on a commercial flight with your rig on your back, it draws unwanted attention and could result in skydivers being treated worse in the future.

 

Does anyone have any first-hand experience with this happening to them? Seems unlikely thing to worry about.

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I've always carried mine on because I'm afraid of what could happen if TSA has unsupervised access to my handles. I have a rig sleeve, usually remove my hook knife but forgot last time I flew (about a month ago) and made it through both Denver and San Diego without any issues.

About 6 years ago at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway a TSA agent attempted to lift my old rig by the metal reserve ripcord as it came out of the scanner. The reserve pilot chute hit the floor but the free bag didnt move and I was able to carry it on in a trash bag.  Thankfully i was heading home from Eloy or that really could have been a trip spoiler. The agent apologized and the supervisor had me fill out a form that got me a check to pay for a repack.  I have a Curv now with pillows and the rig sleeve has velcro stretch covers that wrap around the cutaway and reserve handles.

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I always carry mine and check the knife.  There is no reason to carry your rig without putting it inside a general backpack type of container.  TSA will give it a look and generally pass you through to the swab table and then say thanks...  Don't make a big deal about it and they won't either.  Everyone on the airplane does not need to know that you jump out of airplanes... I also check my weight belt.  

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11 hours ago, theplummeter said:

...About 6 years ago at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway a TSA agent attempted to lift my old rig by the metal reserve ripcord as it came out of the scanner. The reserve pilot chute hit the floor but the free bag didn't move and I was able to carry it on in a trash bag... 

I have heard that tying the chest strap around & through the reserve handle will prevent this sort of thing.

There are other ways, but the potential of locking the reserve handle in place is reduced by using the chest strap.

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I traveled to about 5 countries this summer and always carried my on and use a rig sleeve.  It has the little handle covers, so I don't worry about someone pulling one by accident.  Usually they'll just swab it and nothing more.  I think the 2 biggest issues I ran into was one TSA agent didn't know what to do and called her supervisor over and he just said it's fine and waived me threw.  I never had an issue with any security.  I had a bigger worry of other passengers who like to try to shove their oversized carry-ons into bins that aren't big enough or have enough room left and crush everyone else's shit.  Most people just think it's a big backpack. 

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:57 AM, Lawndarter said:

I've been fine with a hook knife I've forgetten to remove before, because the TSA folks all looked at it and decided it could not be used as a weapon in any way.

I think this would depend on the type of hook knife -- I was really irritated to have one confiscated until I considered that the "hook" was big enough that I could have lopped off a fingertip with it.

The TSA has been cool with me when I've taken my stuff through security, for the most part. I'd just recommend that you allow some extra time, because if you're cutting it close, you'll look nervous, and if you look nervous they'll wonder what you're up to, and it all goes downhill from there. If you are relaxed and willing to shoot the shit with them about skydiving, they will probably not be too jerky about it.

I generally carry my gear on if I have connecting flights (if I'm going to get separated from my luggage because of too tight a connection, I'd rather that luggage not be $10k worth of custom skydiving gear!). I check it if I have a direct flight, and I make sure I've arrived at the airport with plenty of time for the baggage handlers to get it to the plane.

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I've only once in I don't know how many flights had anything close to an issue. I always tell the screeners what it is beforehand in case they've never seen a rig before and the most they've ever wanted to do is swab the outside of it. I do tie my handles with pullup cords and have the covers from the RigSleeve on as well,

The two funniest things that have happened doing so were on the same flight. I was on the exit row of a puddlejumper from Monterey to Phoenix, and literally had to buckle the rig into the seat beside me as it would not fit in the tiny bin on the plane. Someone passing chuckled recognizing what it was and said, "Nervous flyer?". Then someone else, do a degree I couldn't entirely assess, was unnerved by the "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT" warning on it, I just told them, "Not this kind of flight".

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Always carried my rig with me in a bag, hook knife in checked luggage. 

Once about 8 years ago, they had me unpack the main at JFK. They took a look at the canopy and I repacked it on the floor. Not sure why they wanted that but I thought it was better not to argue with them. 

 

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An update:

I carried on my rig from San Diego to Tampa over the holidays. It barely fit in a Samsonite carry-on suitcase with wheels. TSA had me take it out and swabbed it for explosives on the flight out but not on the return since the agent there told me she had seen lots of "parachutes."

It helped having the Cypress AAD x-ray printout, which I handed to the first agent running the belt. I also told them it was a skydiving rig/parachute (I find a lot of people don't get the word "skydiving" but they always understand "parachute.")

I'm glad I carried it on and it fit no problem in the overhead bins.

I checked another bag with my weight belt and hook knife in it. It was opened by TSA both times somewhere along the line (a belt with lead pellets-no wonder ha ha).

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On 11/19/2019 at 12:00 PM, SethInMI said:

Does anyone have any first-hand experience with this happening to them? Seems unlikely thing to worry about.

Yes.  Going to Quincy one year several people in the boarding area had rigs they were carrying over their shoulder.  The gate agent noticed and whispered something to the pilot (who was just getting on) - he came over, took a look and said "no parachutes on my plane."

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11 hours ago, billvon said:

Yes.  Going to Quincy one year several people in the boarding area had rigs they were carrying over their shoulder.  The gate agent noticed and whispered something to the pilot (who was just getting on) - he came over, took a look and said "no parachutes on my plane."

And...…. ??? Cant leave us hanging like this 9_9;)

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1 hour ago, Nabz said:

And...…. ??? Cant leave us hanging like this 9_9;)

So we all had to gate check them.  Mine was in a gearbag so it wasn't a big deal but one of the other guys was worried.  He had a Racer with not-great pin protection to begin with.  They got there OK.  (Was a 30 minute flight.)

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1 hour ago, billvon said:

So we all had to gate check them.  Mine was in a gearbag so it wasn't a big deal but one of the other guys was worried.  He had a Racer with not-great pin protection to begin with.  They got there OK.  (Was a 30 minute flight.)

Thanks for sharing :)

Curious as to what the pilot's reasoning why he wouldn't want the rigs on his airplane 

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2 hours ago, Nabz said:

Thanks for sharing :)

Curious as to what the pilot's reasoning why he wouldn't want the rigs on his airplane 

No idea.  It was a small aircraft (Q400) and there were several of us with rigs.  Maybe he thought "I've seen this movie before?"

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(edited)
51 minutes ago, billvon said:

No idea.  It was a small aircraft (Q400) and there were several of us with rigs.  Maybe he thought "I've seen this movie before?"

Wearing a bare rig (not Billvon - the others) to board a flight is not wise. So many likely nervous grandmas and pilots that can express their concern, and then it is an easy decision for security of whatever label to tell us it can't be carry on. The more this type of thing happens, the more likely they will not be allowed ever. It doesn't matter how many letters from the TSA/FAA or X-ray cards you have, they can say no and not have to justify it to anyone.

Edited by sundevil777
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16 hours ago, billvon said:

No idea.  It was a small aircraft (Q400) and there were several of us with rigs.  Maybe he thought "I've seen this movie before?"

Haha^.^

15 hours ago, sundevil777 said:

Wearing a bare rig (not Billvon - the others) to board a flight is not wise. So many likely nervous grandmas and pilots that can express their concern, and then it is an easy decision for security of whatever label to tell us it can't be carry on. The more this type of thing happens, the more likely they will not be allowed ever. It doesn't matter how many letters from the TSA/FAA or X-ray cards you have, they can say no and not have to justify it to anyone.

That makes a lot of sense. This is exactly why I got a rig sleeve, nervous fliers.

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