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hackish

Airlines (WestJet) and parachutes...

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I know there have been past threads about this. I've been doing my homework and wanted to report what I found.

WestJet has a note in their documentation that parachutes are not permitted on the airplane as carry-on or checked baggage if they contain an AAD. They used the words explosive device whereas I'd like it to be called a pyrotechnic cutter... :)

I called to get clarification and they said it was acceptable if and only if the AAD could be disabled. I told him that I could turn it off and he asked me if that would disable it. Yes. I will know on Monday if they let me...

So I did some searching on the Transport Canada website...
http://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/english/travel_voyage/list.shtml

[QUOTE]Skydiving rigs with and without Automatic Activation Devices are permitted as carry-on or as checked baggage. Parachute-related equipment, such a gas cylinders, are classified under dangerous goods, thereby prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage. More importantly, parachutes are also subject to the general restrictions on size and weight (i.e. whether they can be safety stowed as carry-on) and the restriction on the number of pieces of carry-on. Please contact your air carrier for more information.[/QUOTE]

Hope this helps and I'll let everyone know if they let me on the plane.

-Michael

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The FAA has no problem with AADs and the ruling on CO2 changed in Aug. to where it's ok. I travel on demos and has been thru all kinds of issues with my rig. I have been stopped with my rig as carry on and my buddy in the next line was let to carry it on, I carry the FAA letter to show the TSA guys the rules when stopped ( you can get a copy off USPAs web site. and I never heard of a "gas cylinders" on an ADD, WTF is that? when asked I tell then there all electric.



Only the good die young, so I have found immortality,

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"Parachute-related equipment, such a gas cylinders"

I think that refers to high altitude bail-out bottles. I suspect it will all go off without a hitch but if they do have problems I'll just pass the screener all the paperwork and by the time he crawls out from under the pile I will already be on the aircraft.

I think it will just come down to the security screeners but I suppose I should probably pack a temp pin and some cypress cord just in case. I doubt they'd allow a positive leverage device in my carry-on in case they want to see the reserve...

-Michael

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I fly all over the place (and choose West Jet as #1 every single time). There are two things to take note of.

(1) West Jet does not inspect bagage, the airport personnel do. Unless you blab to everyone that you have a parachute, the person at the ticket check in counter will know nothing.

(2) That may not bet the greatest answer but how about this one. West Jet DOES allow you to have a AAD as cary on :) Click Here for the response directly from West Jet.

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> "Parachute-related equipment, such a gas cylinders"

>I think that refers to high altitude bail-out bottles.

It generally refers to CO2-inflated vests for jumping near water.

>I suspect it will all go off without a hitch but if they do have problems
>I'll just pass the screener all the paperwork and by the time he crawls out
>from under the pile I will already be on the aircraft.

I don't think it works like that generally!

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A while back I wrote out a description of FAA parachute regulations targeted at airport screeners and police agencies. It was on Dropzone.com for a while, and somebody else added a letterhead to it. The idea is to throw in some specific regulations so the screeners know where and how the FAA regulates our equipment, and then think they have some kind of official approval. I have also printed it for other jumpers a few times and then signed it with my rigger ID, so they would have paper to hand to a screener if there were any questions. I have attached that briefing paper for general use.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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I have flow WestJet several times since 2005. Most of those flights were between Vancouver and Calgary nad I never had any problems checking a Cypres-equipped parachute.
Just last month, I flew to Quebec and back with a huge bag full of parachute rigger training aids. Those training aids included several fired AAD cutters.

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Hey everyone,

Just planning my trip down south and have found some encouraging info. It comes from westjet, and the security screeners at the airport.

Screeners:
http://www.catsa.gc.ca/english/travel_voyage/list.shtml
Search for "Parachute" and click the link. It says this:
Quote

Skydiving rigs with and without Automatic Activation Devices are permitted as carry-on or as checked baggage. Parachute-related equipment, such a gas cylinders, are classified under dangerous goods, thereby prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage. More importantly, parachutes are also subject to the general restrictions on size and weight (i.e. whether they can be safety stowed as carry-on) and the restriction on the number of pieces of carry-on. Please contact your air carrier for more information.



I emailed Westjet directly and got this as a reply. They don't have info on their website, but this was emailed to me by an employee.
Quote

[ N [ N [ - [ - [ - [ PARACHUTES (MECHANICAL) WITH AN AUTOMATIC ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ ACTIVATION DEVICE OPERATED BY AN EXPLOSIVE ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ CHARGE ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ Explosive ? Parachutes containing an Automatic ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ Activation Device (AAD) are NOT permitted. AAD ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ contains explosives, (UN 0432, Class 1.4S) and ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ are not permitted on a passenger aircraft as ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ carry-on or checked BAGGAGE. ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ Note: WestJet will accept a parachute for ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ transportation if and ONLY if it does NOT ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ contain any type of activation device or ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ mechanism. ]
[___[___[___[___[___[_________________________________________________]
[ [ [ [ [ [ ]
[ Y [ Y [ - [ - [ - [ PARACHUTES WITH A BATTERY OPPERATED AUTOMATIC ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ ACTIVATION DEVICE are acceptable. They can be ]
[ [ [ [ [ [ pre-programmed not to detonate at any altitude. ]
[___[___[___[___[___[________________________________________________



As you can see, Westjet says no checked and no carry on if it's got an explosive charge and is "mechanical". If it's "electronic" and can be disabled, you is cleared for carry on and checked. I think it's pretty easy to show that a Cypres is "electronic" and can be disabled. Choose your words carefully...

Hope this helps someone else...I'll let you know what happens on Dec 15th....

Later
"When once you have tasted flight..."

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Thanks to Goober and Tom I printed out those documents for an expected argument. Instead the security people shrugged said cool, never seen one of these before and didn't even ask me to take it out of the bag. The airline seemed to have no problem with it. The only one who asked was the customs guy but only because he did some military SL jumps. All that stress and it worked out just fine.

-Michael

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The only time my rig garnered attention was when a senior worker was working the X-ray/density machine. When my rig went through the scanner, he knew what it was but called all the lower worker bees over to show them the display.

It gets their attention because of the high density metal on the 3 rings and hip rings. They didn't seem to be bothered about the wires and batteries. All they see all day long are cool blue and green screens on the scans but on my rig, that BRIGHT RED sure does show up and a dense metal.

The next issue is Customs/Immigration......Welcome back to Canada Mr. Goober but let me get this straight. You are a single male in your early 30's, you traveled alone down to the Arizona desert but a few hours from the Mexican border. I see by the camping gear that you used your tent in the desert and did not stay in a hotel. Do I have that right?

Yessss, sir. I went to a training camp :)

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