If you are wondering whether you can carry your drone on a plane when you travel for your next adventure, then the answer is in the affirmative.
This is a question that could have been deemed ridiculous just a few years back since drones were not as common as they are today. These days in addition to asking the question, you also need to be aware of all the relevant aspects of carrying a drone on a plane.
Luckily, it is not as difficult as one would think since all you require is some preparation in advance and you are good to go.
If you do not know how to fly a drone, then there is no point in even carrying a drone on a plane. Once you get acquainted with the safe and appropriate usage of the drone, you can plan your trip on a plane.
Checked and Carry-on Luggage both are fine for a drone on a plane
You need to follow the rules and regulations with regard to both the kinds of luggage. A large sized drone such as a DJI Inspire or Typhoon will not be housed in a backpack and so you will have to opt for the checked luggage. However, if you own a compact sized drone such as one from the DJI’s Phantom series, then you can go for the carry-on luggage.
If you are planning to purchase a drone, then it is prudent to purchase a small sized drone to begin with so you will not have to fret over losing out on your expensive high end drone. No matter whatever size of the drone you go for, you should ensure that you carry additional batteries since the low pressure in the storage cabin can cause the batteries to catch fire which is a risk that you would surely intend to mitigate. Before placing your drone in your checked luggage, ensure that the batteries are removed from the device.
Drain the batteries for a drone on a plane
It is crucial that you get the batteries drained before you embark on flight to minimize the risk of fire. The battery’s charging level should not be more than 10% which can be achieved by flying the drone at a low power mode until the battery’s charging levels reach the requisite stage. Battery can also be drained by leaving the machine powered on without making it to move. During packing, take care to cover the battery terminals with electrical tape or else the danger of the battery catching fire will keep on looming.
Based on the optimum watt hours permitted, there is a limit to the number of batteries that can be carried on a plane. If you own a battery with a capacity that exceeds 100 watt-hours, then you are permitted only a couple of batteries on a single flight. Keep in mind that there are some airlines that simply do not allow batteries exceeding 100-watt hours to be carried on a plane so it is judicious to check the airline’s rules before carrying any batteries onboard. You can carry as many batteries as you want if they are of capacity lesser than 100-watt hours which are to be displayed on the side of the battery case. You can get the accurate number of watt-hours by multiplying the volts by the number of amps.
Tackle the airport security with a calm head
There are certain rules and regulations developed by the TSA with regard to carrying drones on a plane. Firstly, the owner has to get the drone registered on the Federal Aviation Administration’s website and get a printed copy of the certificate as a supporting evidence. The batteries should be passed through the scanner in a separate bin. Ensure that additional batteries are placed in the carry-on baggage and not in the checked baggage. Utmost care has to be taken in this regard since the repercussions of batteries catching fire onboard a plane can be horrific. The best way to go is to get all the batteries removed from the drone and have them drained out appropriately.
This might not be a great idea apparently but it is judicious to be honest with the airport security personnel that you are carrying a drone with you. If you try to hide this fact, it can work against you. Be honest and truthful if a TSA agent or an airline representative asks you any questions regarding your drone. Similarly, if a fellow traveler asks you about your drone, be open and share your views about it in a friendly manner.
Before you embark on the flight, ensure that you have all the drone components and batteries with you. It would be excruciatingly frustrating to learn that you have left your propellers at home when you reach your destination. Similarly, forgetting the registration certificate could have grave ramifications so it is prudent to keep one in your wallet. Recheck all your baggage when you get onto the car, reach the airport and before you get on the plane. Ensure that your batteries have been properly drained out before you get onboard.
If you are not going to place your drone in a plane and in the check luggage, then it is prudent to ensure that you carry on backpack is able to accommodate the drone. You can carry out a search online to find out the drone models and their sizes and whether they can be placed in carry-on luggage.
Beware of rules during international travels
All this stuff holds sway within the United States. If you are planning to visit an international destination even then you can carry your drone on a plane as long as it is permitted by the airline. The airline rules are generally the same all over the world, however, there may be differences among countries when it comes to rules and regulations for drones. You should be acquainted with the rules and regulations regarding drones of a place that you are about to visit.
The Wrap Up
We hope that we have been able to provide you sufficient information about carrying a drone on a plane. If you stick to the rules and regulations, you will definitely have a time of your lives on your next family getaway with your drone. Happy flying, y’all!