0
ellioty

Rigs confiscated in Melbourne - Dangerous Goods!

Recommended Posts

Hi

Looking for some advice and assistance please.

We have all heard of nightmare airport security - but this has taken me aback!

Coming through Melbourne and our Skydive Gear was confiscated by an airline manager based on them being "Dangerous Goods".

We demonstrated they are exempt of all travel regulations with the Cypres card, and showed them the relevant section on air travel on Cypres website.

Furthermore, we went through the DG list with the employee; they are absent from Qantas's own DG list. It states to speak to the CAA and IATA.

On one leg of our trip - a check-in assistant even called DG and validated they were not Dangerous Goods. (We did 7 legs with the same airline).

We had to catch our flight, and had no other option but to resolve this from the UK. At the time, we were told they could be freighted - not ideal - but manageable.

An initial letter to customer complaints was futile, with them only repeating the ground manager's claim that Sports Parachutes are DG.

I have spoken with IATA, CAA and FAA and all agree they are not dangerous goods. The Australian Parachute Federation is also in agreement. All evidence to the above has been supplied to Customer Care.

Is it possible to file a formal complaint and get this investigated? If so what body?

I have sent emails seeking assistance to the British Consulate in Melbourne, the BPA and Cypres.

Is there any other avenue we can pursue?

We have written a formal letter, citing the relevant evidence. As it stands they are still classified by the airline as DG and cannot be moved.

We do not have a contact in Melbourne who can assist us in freighting them in any other manner.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oddly enough, a recent trend has emerged in getting things like this (not dangerous goods / skydiving / airlines specifically) resolved is to kick off on their facebook page / twitter feed. Nothing like a bit of instant bad publicity to start the wheels moving. ;)

Don't swear and make sure you come off as the good, hard done to guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Under the latest IATA regulations the lithium cells are classed as Dangerous Goods that are restricted for air travel on passenger aircraft.

Whoever did that classification was correct and well within their rights. It is only lucky that most airlines are not as aware of the battery issues within an AAD.

From memory it is Packing Instruction 968. I don't have my copy of the DG regulations on hand to be certain. Honestly shipping batteries legally is a pain in the arse. Your rig technically needs to be packaged according to the instruction in approved packaging and labelled properly. Then you need to have a copy of the battery manufacturers compliance certificate for UN38.3 (Vigil uses Tadiran batteries so that is easy, no idea what Cupres uses)

A company called Marair can help you get it shipped.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nigel99

Under the latest IATA regulations the lithium cells are classed as Dangerous Goods that are restricted for air travel on passenger aircraft.

Whoever did that classification was correct and well within their rights. It is only lucky that most airlines are not as aware of the battery issues within an AAD.

From memory it is Packing Instruction 968. I don't have my copy of the DG regulations on hand to be certain. Honestly shipping batteries legally is a pain in the arse. Your rig technically needs to be packaged according to the instruction in approved packaging and labelled properly. Then you need to have a copy of the battery manufacturers compliance certificate for UN38.3 (Vigil uses Tadiran batteries so that is easy, no idea what Cupres uses)

A company called Marair can help you get it shipped.



Hi

The statement about the Lithium battery is not true.

I have confirmation from IATA, issued two days ago :-

"The explosive content is excepted from the regulations and the lithium metal battery is within the allowable limits for passenger checked or carry-on baggage"

IATA also supplied the relevent certifiation.

Furthermore, I am sure Airtec would be up in arms should your assertion be correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ellioty

***Under the latest IATA regulations the lithium cells are classed as Dangerous Goods that are restricted for air travel on passenger aircraft.

Whoever did that classification was correct and well within their rights. It is only lucky that most airlines are not as aware of the battery issues within an AAD.

From memory it is Packing Instruction 968. I don't have my copy of the DG regulations on hand to be certain. Honestly shipping batteries legally is a pain in the arse. Your rig technically needs to be packaged according to the instruction in approved packaging and labelled properly. Then you need to have a copy of the battery manufacturers compliance certificate for UN38.3 (Vigil uses Tadiran batteries so that is easy, no idea what Cupres uses)

A company called Marair can help you get it shipped.



Hi

The statement about the Lithium battery is not true.

I have confirmation from IATA, issued two days ago :-

"The explosive content is excepted from the regulations and the lithium metal battery is within the allowable limits for passenger checked or carry-on baggage"

IATA also supplied the relevent certifiation.

Furthermore, I am sure Airtec would be up in arms should your assertion be correct.

Honestly I don't know anything at all about the explosives part, but I do a bucket load of stuff with shipping lithium metal batteries contained I. Equipment and an AA cell isn't exempt. We use exactly the same battery as the Vigil (the tadiran pulses plus) and can't ship on passenger aircraft.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Documents/lithium-battery-guidance-document-2015-en.pdf

This document is a year out of date, each year the regs on batteries change. It is actually Packing Instruction 970, not 968 that applies (batteries with less than a gram of lithium) Check the flowchart on page 10 of the guidance document.

Not that it helps your situation, but something I'd overlooked is that there are exemptions for checked baggage containing equipment for personal use. So in theory traveling with an AAD is fine, but shipping it is not.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nigel99

https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Documents/lithium-battery-guidance-document-2015-en.pdf

This document is a year out of date, each year the regs on batteries change. It is actually Packing Instruction 970, not 968 that applies (batteries with less than a gram of lithium) Check the flowchart on page 10 of the guidance document.

Not that it helps your situation, but something I'd overlooked is that there are exemptions for checked baggage containing equipment for personal use. So in theory traveling with an AAD is fine, but shipping it is not.



I will ask for Airtec to clarify the situation. If what you are saying is true - it has severe implications for all of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ellioty

The Cypres battery contains only 0,99 g lithium.

The battery is entirely built into the Cypres device.



Yes that's why the less than 1 gram rule applies and the PI for battery contained in equipment.

Honestly good luck getting it all sorted, from experience once you get stuck in the DG rabbit hole with freight people nobody wants to be the person that says yes. It's easier and less risk to just say no :(. Marair do stuff for us when we occasionally get stuck and I do recommend them.

The fact of it is that most small operations get away with ignoring the rules. Part of my day job is looking after global operations doing 500+ shipments per month containing lithium batteries. We obey the rules (listed company that values reputation). For a while I was going rigging and shipping Cypres's back and forth for service and not once were the rules complied with.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nigel99


Honestly I don't know anything at all about the explosives part, but I do a bucket load of stuff with shipping lithium metal batteries contained I. Equipment and an AA cell isn't exempt. We use exactly the same battery as the Vigil (the tadiran pulses plus) and can't ship on passenger aircraft.



Key being can't SHIP on PASSENGER aircraft. Look in IATA section 2.3 (page 19 in the 2017 book). Then look at the graph 2.3.A. (you will want to look on p25).

So you can't ship on pax aircraft. You can ship on cargo aircraft*. You CAN carry on a plane either over your shoulder or in checked bags.

*Depending on the Operator variations. For example FedEx just changed from allowing section II to requiring them to be section I, or IB.

I am a certified IATA instructor.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JohnMitchell

Crap. I hope they get their act together. I have to fly out of Melbourne at the end of the month, with 2 rigs.. [:/]



The biggest problem I ever had with my rig was returning to the US thru Melbourne. The rig was too heavy for carry on and also not allowed because it was a parachute. They did let me check it after much dicussion. That was in 2010ish.
Summer Rental special, 5 weeks for the price of 4! That is $160 a month.

Try before You Buy with Wicked Wingsuits - WingsuitRental.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Koppel, good to hear from you again.

I just had to drop into this forum to say that Valinda and I flew out of Melbourne 2 days ago. We kept both our rigs as carry on luggage, making sure the hook knives were removed and placed in a checked bag. Both gear bags went thru the x-ray without comment. I did, however, have to surrender my small multi-tool in my other bag, because it had a very short knife blade. :S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mr2mk1g

Oddly enough, a recent trend has emerged in getting things like this (not dangerous goods / skydiving / airlines specifically) resolved is to kick off on their facebook page / twitter feed. Nothing like a bit of instant bad publicity to start the wheels moving. ;)

Don't swear and make sure you come off as the good, hard done to guy.



And if you cite and post the regulations, you could word it in a way to imply your rigs are now not dangerous goods, but stolen goods. Those things are expensive!
See the upside, and always wear your parachute! -- Christopher Titus

Shut Up & Jump!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ron

***
Honestly I don't know anything at all about the explosives part, but I do a bucket load of stuff with shipping lithium metal batteries contained I. Equipment and an AA cell isn't exempt. We use exactly the same battery as the Vigil (the tadiran pulses plus) and can't ship on passenger aircraft.



Key being can't SHIP on PASSENGER aircraft. Look in IATA section 2.3 (page 19 in the 2017 book). Then look at the graph 2.3.A. (you will want to look on p25).

So you can't ship on pax aircraft. You can ship on cargo aircraft*. You CAN carry on a plane either over your shoulder or in checked bags.

*Depending on the Operator variations. For example FedEx just changed from allowing section II to requiring them to be section I, or IB.

I am a certified IATA instructor.

Yup that aligns with my knowledge (good to know the DG training was worth while). What I had overlooked was the exemptions for passengers.

I pity you, those IATA regulations are mind-numbing!
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is there a way to see those pages online? I'm planning a trip to Melbourne but I don't have the DG book (it looks like it costs $300).

It would be nice to print out the relevant pages and highlight the appropriate parts so I can show it to any nosey officials

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zgreycoat

Is there a way to see those pages online? I'm planning a trip to Melbourne but I don't have the DG book (it looks like it costs $300).

It would be nice to print out the relevant pages and highlight the appropriate parts so I can show it to any nosey officials



You are not going to find most of the IATA manual online. They are a commercial organization and sell the materials. In fact at the last meeting there was quite a bit of discussion on how to better lock the computer version down to not allow printing and why they do not have an "app".

Also, I can tell you from experience that if you show up with photocopies of an official book, the TSA (here in the US) just assumes you got the information illegally. You will get more mileage using the companies website.

For example here is Vigil http://www.vigil.aero/commercial-flight-information

Here is Cypres https://www.cypres.aero/documents/travel-documents/

I would have the relevant information printed out. I just hand them a business card and that usually stops it.

If you encounter issues, be polite and ask for a supervisor. Have TWO copies of all the required information but only show them ONE. I had a TSA agent "confiscate" my photo copy of the TSA manual allowing rigs to be carried, saying I was, "Not allowed to have it"... I pointed out I printed it from their website and he said that was impossible.

Don't say things like it is sealed by a "Rigger". Say it was sealed by an "FAA certificated parachute maintenance technician."

It is not an explosive charge, it is an electronic cutter.

Start writing down names of all the agents, start writing down times and everything they say and do. Do not do it aggressively, just start making notes. If they ask why, tell them you need to document this in case it causes you to miss your plane.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0