Anybody here from Hawaii?

I am sorry to call you out John as I like you and think you are highly intelligent and almost always nice but to tell someone to take a battery fully charged onto an airplane (a drone lipo isn't as safe as a computer battery although that shouldn't be fully charged either but much safer for reasons that you can Google).

You should down charge to a minimum of 25-30% or you risk the lives of yourself and everyone on board that flight because if this happens as it happened on the way to Fiji on a crowded international flight:

5728792-3x2-940x627.jpg


And that causes the fuselage to breach at a high altitude you could cost the lives of every infant, man and woman on that flight. Forget the fact that it is now FAA regulation, even when traveling on a cargo plane, and especially on a passenger plane, if you go with a fully charged battery, and you get a TSA agent with a bug up his arse and decides to test yours, you will be in violation of criminal and civil laws which I believe is a felony (punishable by jail time) and if there were an incident, you would be liable monetarily,

Instead, de-charge your batteries, go to the hotel, get a Mai Tai, and charge your batteries for an hour or two and let's all try to keep each other alive. I don't mean to be dramatic here but if I knew someone had a UAS battery fully charged on a passenger flight I was on, he'd hear it.

Yikes! Now that is scary even if its just a rare thing. Just for the sake of being safe I'm thinking about just getting lipo bags (the smallest I can find that will fit in my battery compartments in my backpack).

Now that we are on the subject of batteries. Do phone batteries, external battery chargers, tablets, etc.... fall into that same discussion?
 
Forget the fact that it is now FAA regulation, even when traveling on a cargo plane, and especially on a passenger plane, if you go with a fully charged battery, and you get a TSA agent with a bug up his arse and decides to test yours, you will be in violation of criminal and civil laws which I believe is a felony (punishable by jail time) and if there were an incident, you would be liable monetarily,
Really, has this changed? Can you show me where the FAA states that carry-on batteries can't be fully charged? No doubt partial charge may be less potent, but even a discharged battery usually has over 3.2V/cell left, plenty of power to start a fire and cause a problem. It doesn't need to be charged to 4.2V/cell to create a problem. So either way, there's a small risk.

The airlines have a process to extinguish a carry-on battery fire if one occurs. That's why they want them carried on, so:
1. The problem is immediately noticed (see the smoke, smell the smoke)
2. The problem can be immediately accessed in the overhead, or under the seat.
3. The plane's integrity is not compromised.

Interestingly enough, I've never heard of a carry-on battery having a problem during flight on an airliner. Has anyone else?
 
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Yikes! Now that is scary even if its just a rare thing. Just for the sake of being safe I'm thinking about just getting lipo bags (the smallest I can find that will fit in my battery compartments in my backpack).

Now that we are on the subject of batteries. Do phone batteries, external battery chargers, tablets, etc.... fall into that same discussion?

In my mind, what's more scary is Li-Ion batteries that are legally checked and put in the airplane cargo area, with no access during flight. If a battery is installed in a device, such as a laptop, it's legal to put that laptop in your luggage and check it. I see this occur all the time, and it's perfectly OK with the FAA to do this. Batteries can fail, no doubt. It's rare, but they do fail, including batteries that are installed into laptops (remember the Panasonic laptop battery fiasco?). Batteries are no safer from integrity failure when installed in a laptop, they are only safer from accidental shorting. So "shorting" is what the FAA is concerned about, hence the "individual protection against shorts" requirement for uninstalled batteries for batteries carried on.

Some laptop batteries have more watts power capacity than our Phantom batteries. If one of those laptop batteries fail from integrity while inside checked luggage, and it's surrounded by clothes that are usually very flammable, and the baggage isn't accessible to extinguish, you'll have a very eventful flight, potentially catastrophic. That flight will dive at a steep angle to descend and land asap at the nearest airport. Hopefully it's not a flight to Hawaii.
 
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In my mind, what's more scary is Li-Ion batteries that are legally checked and put in the airplane cargo area, with no access during flight. If a battery is installed in a device, such as a laptop, it's legal to put that laptop in your luggage and check it. I see this occur all the time, and it's perfectly OK with the FAA to do this. Batteries can fail, no doubt. It's rare, but they do fail, including batteries that are installed into laptops (remember the Panasonic laptop battery fiasco?). Batteries are no safer from integrity failure when installed in a laptop, they are only safer from accidental shorting. So "shorting" is what the FAA is concerned about, hence the "individual protection against shorts" requirement for uninstalled batteries for batteries carried on.

Some laptop batteries have more watts power capacity than our Phantom batteries. If one of those laptop batteries fail from integrity while inside checked luggage, and it's surrounded by clothes that are usually very flammable, and the baggage isn't accessible to extinguish, you'll have a very eventful flight, potentially catastrophic. That flight will dive at a steep angle to descend and land asap at the nearest airport. Hopefully it's not a flight to Hawaii.
The FAA rules are that you must carry only personal bats and that they are an amount that TSA can randomly decide what is for "personal use" and if you have 5 bats, they could take them or not let you on the plane at all.

Plus, the rules are changing as we speak. I am sure we have all seen this sticker over the last 6-8 months.

lipobatteries.jpg


So I don't know how much of a rule the "forbidden" is. I travel with my lipos all the time. I have never been bothered with my computer batteries or a Phantom battery but when they start seeing LiPos like ones in the fpv racers, they start to get a little nervous.

The Phantom battery is made to not overcharge (but you never know if you get a fake and it indeed does). Also, the Typhoon H battery, and most Yuneec bats, you can overcharge and the racer ones are EASILY overcharged and often are,

Forgetting the rules or not (and the rules by the FAA are as I said that you can travel with them if checked but only personal and I am not sure if there is a determination for the level of charge).

Only once, and it was with a racing battery was I asked if I could show the charge level and it was at 20% and luckily I had my charger with me and could show that. The Phantom battery you could press the button and hope they know what they are looking at, or possibly plug it into your Phantom, Mavic or whatever and show them but why take the chance of having your bird confiscated or not allowed on the plane.

From FAA (determine as you like) - You have to start doing some hairy math to determine if you meet the guidelines by not discharging the battery to at least 50%. But to me it's just not worth the risk right now. I travel A LOT and I always bring my birds and bats and I would really not like the privilege taken away from me and also as a matter of common courtesy, would you be happy if you knew someone that may or may not know about proper LiPo care to be carrying one in a bag on a plane? I'd rather ban them altogether for flight if that was the case? Have you ever seen a battery blow up? I have. It's literally like a small bomb and I do not want one on a plane that me, my wife and daughter are on that is a) by someone I don't know and b) someone I don't know their knowledge of care. Even if I knew it was you, I would feel safer but even a Phantom bat is safer if it's not fully charged. The percentage of a fully charged battery being sparked by something is much greater than one that isn't. Even if it was scratched by something. It's not worth the risk because on this one, it only takes one SINGLE mess up to possibly bring down an entire you know what. I'm just saying better safe than sorry, and I can't tell if it's in the FAA rules to discharge or not, but it is DEFINITELY in the policies of some airlines. Have a look Have a look around too. Just saying, be safe and care about our hobby.

Lithium Batteries Could Spark ‘Catastrophic’ Plane Fires, FAA Warns

Pack Safe – Lithium ion and lithium metal batteries, spare (uninstalled)

Passenger Removed from Southwest Airlines Flight for Carry-On Drone | UAV Coach

LiPo batteries and Airport Security - how to travel safely with drone batteries

The FAA Is Freaked Out About Batteries on Planes

Look, this is a quote from that article, let's not help them. They have and will if they are bored, ask to check your LiPo. I've only had it done once with my laptop and I've had it done with my more home made looking racer 1300mah bat. Tiny 75c 1300 4s.

"Most commercial passenger airlines voluntarily prohibit rechargeable lithium ion batteries, and just last month, a UN panel recommended banning rechargeable lithium battery cargo from all passenger jets."

However, a recent FAA funding bill failed to ban shipping such batteries by air.

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Really, has this changed? Can you show me where the FAA states that carry-on batteries can't be fully charged? No doubt partial charge may be less potent, but even a discharged battery usually has over 3.2V/cell left, plenty of power to start a fire and cause a problem. It doesn't need to be charged to 4.2V/cell to create a problem. So either way, there's a small risk.

The airlines have a process to extinguish a carry-on battery fire if one occurs. That's why they want them carried on, so:
1. The problem is immediately noticed (see the smoke, smell the smoke)
2. The problem can be immediately accessed in the overhead, or under the seat.
3. The plane's integrity is not compromised.

Interestingly enough, I've never heard of a carry-on battery having a problem during flight on an airliner. Has anyone else?
Actually I just posted one. It is also one of the theories of the Malaysian flight that was never found. There was a lot of bats. One exploding battery could definitely do more damage than you are giving it credit for. I think you are a reasonable and intelligent person John, I really do, so I'm just gonna leave it at this.

You don't have to agree with me, but I am certainly not overly concerned with such matters but I believe this is an area where extraordinary caution is necessary, more than normal. Having heard of it or not is sort of a bad argument. I don't want to wait until we do in order to make the rules, do you? We are talking about the difference of waiting an hour for a charge after you land.
 
I am not sure if there is a determination for the level of charge).

....... but why take the chance of having your bird confiscated or not allowed on the plane.

If you read all the FAA battery rules there is no restriction on charge level. I've looked before, there is nothing, likely for the reasons I stated previously. Whether fully charged, or discharged, the risk of an incident still exists. Uncharged batteries still have plenty of energy to cause problems if shorted or an integrity failure occurs.

TSA cannot take your carry-on drone or battery because it's charged. Implying otherwise is not accurate. If you are ever challenged at security about charge level, ask for a supervisor that know the rules. As time goes forward TSA is becoming more familiar with drones and their own FAA rules, so you shouldn't have any problem. I'm sure each TSA scanner agent sees hundreds of drones every day.

The "non intelligent" racing batteries look more like a HOME BREW battery, so in the TSA agent's eyes it appears you may have mucked with a battery and installed that shrink wrap, jury-rigged your own battery setup. I suspect he was new and unfamiliar with race batteries, hence his "visual alarm" went off in his head to hassle you. I bet he never said it had to be discharged to carry on, or.... if he did he didn't know the TSA/FAA rules. Contrary, intelligent DJI batteries don't scare TSA agents because they look factory made, they don't have that shrink wrap DIY appearance. I've flown over 50 flights with my drones, never have they asked me about the batteries, and I typically carry 4 batteries with me. The scanner techs know what they are during xray inspection. The scanner will color code batteries to ID as a battery during the scan. There is no doubt they see all 4 of my batteries every time I go through security, yet I've never been questioned. Only once have I been swabbed, and that was a random check, not because it was a drone.
 
We are talking about the difference of waiting an hour for a charge after you land.
Actually I would have to wait 3 to 4hrs to charge all 4 batteries.

I'm not promoting to charge batteries before flying on airlines for no reason. If you know you won't fly your drone when you land at your airline destination, simply don't charge them and use the hotel's electricity. I just don't go out of the way to discharge batteries if I fly on airlines, and I don't charge batteries if I know I'm not going to fly the day I land at my destination. The point is, it's not illegal to fly with charged batteries, and as for safety, charged or not, even uncharged batteries can fail and burn. So I'm not concerned if the FAA isn't. I'm sure the FAA has had many discussions and tests to determine the risk. That's the reason the FAA BANNED NOTE 7 Samsung phones on flights.
 
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If you read all the FAA battery rules there is no restriction on charge level. I've looked before, there is nothing, likely for the reasons I stated previously. Whether fully charged, or discharged, the risk of an incident still exists. Uncharged batteries still have plenty of energy to cause problems if shorted or an integrity failure occurs.

TSA cannot take your carry-on drone or battery because it's charged. Implying otherwise is not accurate. If you are ever challenged at security about charge level, ask for a supervisor that know the rules. As time goes forward TSA is becoming more familiar with drones and their own FAA rules, so you shouldn't have any problem. I'm sure each TSA scanner agent sees hundreds of drones every day.

The "non intelligent" racing batteries look more like a HOME BREW battery, so in the TSA agent's eyes it appears you may have mucked with a battery and installed that shrink wrap, jury-rigged your own battery setup. I suspect he was new and unfamiliar with race batteries, hence his "visual alarm" went off in his head to hassle you. I bet he never said it had to be discharged to carry on, or.... if he did he didn't know the TSA/FAA rules. Contrary, intelligent DJI batteries don't scare TSA agents because they look factory made, they don't have that shrink wrap DIY appearance. I've flown over 50 flights with my drones, never have they asked me about the batteries, and I typically carry 4 batteries with me. The scanner techs know what they are during xray inspection. The scanner will color code batteries to ID as a battery during the scan. There is no doubt they see all 4 of my batteries every time I go through security, yet I've never been questioned. Only once have I been swabbed, and that was a random check, not because it was a drone.
Again, I agree.

Did you read my links though.

The airlines are allowed to make their own policies and do. Read it.

It's not a matter of getting caught, it's a matter of safety anyway.
 
Actually I would have to wait 3 to 4hrs to charge all 4 batteries.

I'm not promoting to charge batteries before flying on airlines for no reason. If you know you won't fly your drone when you land at your airline destination, simply don't charge them and use the hotel's electricity. I just don't go out of the way to discharge batteries if I fly on airlines, and I don't charge batteries if I know I'm not going to fly the day I land at my destination. The point is, it's not illegal to fly with charged batteries, and as for safety, charged or not, even uncharged batteries can fail and burn. So I'm not concerned if the FAA isn't. I'm sure the FAA has had many discussions and tests to determine the risk. That's the reason the FAA BANNED NOTE 7 Samsung phones on flights.
Well then you're not buying the right gear. ;)
 
But the airlines don't control TSA security.
But they do control if you can get on their airplane or not. Also, the FAA is right now making new laws and regulations about LiPos and "drones".

As I said, I respect you quite a bit. If you have a differing opinion on this than, I respect it. I am definitely not a "follow every letter of the law" kind of guy. If it's safe, and if it's personal, I think people should be self responsible but when you get on an airplane with me, you are making a decision for me that I disagree with. I don't want to be at risk of having a fuselage breach because someone didn't want to discharge their battery.

I am not blowing smoke when I say I COMPLETELY respect you. You are well versed, knowledgable, intelligent, kind, and all of the characteristics I look for in a fellow human but we can just have a differing view point on this. I think it puts an unsafe, and unknowing burden on people that have know idea, and it's not without precedent or incident as you claimed earlier. At 35,000 feet, I like things to be as safe as possible and I also want to be able to continue to fly with my birds and bats.

By the little research I did, it does seem that the FAA does not have any direct (discharge to this amount) rules but if you did the math that they have laid out, indeed that would be something that would have to be taken into consideration.

Let me ask you this. Would you want to travel with a heli operator who had to fully charged 30k bats on board? I certainly wouldn't. While a DJI intelligent battery would probably just cause a scare (maybe worse), where is the limit?

I know you're a reasonable person and you are not just in total disagreement with me if I had to guess. I could be wrong and you are. I apologize for assuming if so.

Either way, if I knew you were in control, I would feel safe. You know you're stuff but I don't know if you're in control and I would like all LiPos, unless it's a well made phone or computer to be discharged to least 50% or less. That's my opinion and nothing will change it and if you're having the same thought, that's okay. Again, I think you're off the charts smart, everyone else isn't.
 
But they do control if you can get on their airplane or not. Also, the FAA is right now making new laws and regulations about LiPos and "drones".

As I said, I respect you quite a bit. If you have a differing opinion on this than, I respect it. I am definitely not a "follow every letter of the law" kind of guy. If it's safe, and if it's personal, I think people should be self responsible but when you get on an airplane with me, you are making a decision for me that I disagree with. I don't want to be at risk of having a fuselage breach because someone didn't want to discharge their battery.

I am not blowing smoke when I say I COMPLETELY respect you. You are well versed, knowledgable, intelligent, kind, and all of the characteristics I look for in a fellow human but we can just have a differing view point on this. I think it puts an unsafe, and unknowing burden on people that have know idea, and it's not without precedent or incident as you claimed earlier. At 35,000 feet, I like things to be as safe as possible and I also want to be able to continue to fly with my birds and bats.

By the little research I did, it does seem that the FAA does not have any direct (discharge to this amount) rules but if you did the math that they have laid out, indeed that would be something that would have to be taken into consideration.

Let me ask you this. Would you want to travel with a heli operator who had to fully charged 30k bats on board? I certainly wouldn't. While a DJI intelligent battery would probably just cause a scare (maybe worse), where is the limit?

I know you're a reasonable person and you are not just in total disagreement with me if I had to guess. I could be wrong and you are. I apologize for assuming if so.

Either way, if I knew you were in control, I would feel safe. You know you're stuff but I don't know if you're in control and I would like all LiPos, unless it's a well made phone or computer to be discharged to least 50% or less. That's my opinion and nothing will change it and if you're having the same thought, that's okay. Again, I think you're off the charts smart, everyone else isn't.
Any idea what these new laws will entail? Maybe even more strict? I hope I will still be able to travel freely in May.
 
But they do control if you can get on their airplane or not. Also, the FAA is right now making new laws and regulations about LiPos and "drones".

If it's safe, and if it's personal, I think people should be self responsible but when you get on an airplane with me, you are making a decision for me that I disagree with. I don't want to be at risk of having a fuselage breach because someone didn't want to discharge their battery.

If a lipo fire occurred in carry-on compartment of an airplane, the airline has a process on the plane to put that out and keep people safe. That's why they want access to all "uninstalled" batteries. I'm comfortable with that, although you may not be. And as I said before, whether it's charged to 4.2V or discharged to 3.3V, there's always enough power in that battery to cause problems if it fails. Are you going to refuse to fly on an airline with your drone since you know a discharged battery can cause a fire also?

If new regulation come out, I'll comply, I typically follow the rules (except flying line of site sometimes :D).

What I worry more about is Laptop batteries that are checked, stored inside luggage, perfectly legal according to FAA rules. Some of those laptop batteries have more watts capacity than our Phantom batteries, but it's OK to check them because they are installed in the laptop. Installed only means they are clipped on, as the case with my ThinkPad. No different than a battery that's installed in a Phantom, which by the way is legal to check also, because it's "INSTALLED". Only loose batteries are required to be carried on.

Adam, I get your concern, but IMHO I have a lot less concern with carry-on LiPos than I do with checked laptops, simply because any fire starts in cargo cannot be put out. That's where the real risk lies today, IMHO.
Would you want to travel with a heli operator who had to fully charged 30k bats on board? I certainly wouldn't. While a DJI intelligent battery would probably just cause a scare (maybe worse), where is the limit?

I'm not sure of the relevance of 30K batteries onboard, that wouldn't happen. However, FAA doesn't have a limit to the number of carry-on batteries that are <100W you can carry onboard. However if they are over 100W, two is the limit. I assume it's because testing proves those larger batteries may be more difficult to put out when fully charged, given their present extinguish method, but easier with batteries under 100W. But again, FAA has no restrictions to carrying a couple of fully charged T48 130W Inspire batteries on board. I'm only carrying 88W Phantom batteries.

It appears we high-jacked this thread. Sorry guys.
 
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Lets get back on subject here, Hawaii.

I'm going to Maui in June and hope to return to the top of Mt. Haleakala with my drone for an exciting flight. However I see another peak nearby named Magnetic Peak, which peaked my interest. I'm just wondering how magnetic it is, and will it affect my compass? Has anyone flown there before?

Here's what I found with a Google search, but unsure if I can safely fly, staying a few hundred feet away from this peak. I assume if I fly and there's an issue, the Go app will tell me and switch to ATTI mode. This will be fun.

"Magnetic Peak, a cinder cone that resembles a high mound of volcanic rock, is named for the mild magnetic field caused by its iron-rich cinders. The field is strong enough to deflect a compass needle. Oxidation of these cinders also gives Magnetic Peak its rusty color."

UPDATE: Well, I guess I won't fly there after all. It's a national park!

upload_2017-3-10_23-43-47.png
 
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Hi,
Were any of you flying the last few days of March at Diamond Head? I was out kitesurfing at the time seeing a drone. Would love to see the footage!
aloha
Michael
 
I was there beginning of March at Diamond Head, but only got some beginner surfers. They were not good enough to make it into this video.
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