How to Travel with a Drone

Drone enthusiasts are often found asking whether they can travel with a drone on an airplane and if they can do so, then what is the safest possible way to accomplish it? Typically, there are only a bunch of rules and regulations that drone pilots need to abide by.

Having said that, if you adhere to certain rules, you can ensure safety on the deck and you can demonstrate to the security personnel that you are aware of what you are doing.

There are no legal implications of this post. Rather, it is merely an advice based on publications, rules, personal experiences and regulations framed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

General rules regarding the transport of LiPo batteries on airplanes

  • Lithium ion batteries with less than 100Wh capacity and in uninstalled shape, have to be kept inside the aircraft cabin and stowed in a safe manner. No permission is typically required from the carrier in such a case.
  • Lithium ion batteries with more than 100Wh of capacity and in uninstalled shape, have to be kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin and stowed in a safe manner. No permission is typically required from the carrier in such a case as well.
  • Passengers are not allowed to carry pointed or sharp objects such as carbon fiber propellers in their hand luggage since they could be used as a potential weapon on the deck.

S9 Micro Foldable RC Drone - RTF

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SYMA X20 Mini RC Pocket Drone - RTF

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S10 WiFi FPV 2.4GHz 4-channel RC Drone - RTF

Description:S10 2.4GHz 4CH RC drone features a WiFi camera and a simple gimbal with damping balls for more professional aerial photography. Controlled with either the 2.4GHz transmitter or your ...
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JJRC H43WH Mini Foldable RC Selfie Drone - BNF

Description:JJRC H43WH is an awe-inspiring aircraft with the unique pincer-shaped propeller guards. Press the button at the rear, and you will be able to unfold / fold the two halves, transforming ...
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WowWee Lumi Gaming Drone

Description:Lumi gaming drone has a distinctive way of manipulating and cultivates children's hands-on skills from an early age.It can keep stable indoor flight, one-touch tricks, obstacle avoidance, ...
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F196 WiFi PFV RC Drone Quadcopter 2MP HD Camera Optical Flow Altitude...

Main Features:● Optical flow: make the drone fly steadily and achieve a smooth control ( only for the optical flow version )●Altitude hold positioning system provides a good stability ● 2MP WiFi ...
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SIMTOO MOMENT II GPS Explorer Foldable Selfie Drone

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JY018 Mini Foldable RC Pocket Drone - BNF

Main Features:● Easy to be put into your pocket - 6.5 x 14.5 x 3cm ( folded ), 15.5 x 15 x 3cm ( unfolded )● 0.3MP WiFi camera with adjustable angle provides access to FPV and control● Air Press ...
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Utoghter 69601 WiFi FPV RC Drone Quadcopter

Main Features:●Function: up / down, turn left / right, sideward flight, hover and 3D rollover● With WiFi function, real-time transmission through the phone, you can scan the QR code to download ...
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KINGKONG ET100 100mm Micro FPV Racing Drone

Description:KINGKONG ET Series micro racing drone features the outstanding durability because of the 2.5mm thick carbon fiber frame and the unbreakable propeller guard. Each protective frame can ...
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GB110 110mm Mini FPV Racing Drone - PNP

Main Features:-Considerate Durable DesignAll the propellers, motors, and electronic components are protected by the carbon fiber frame, which prevents them in the event of a crash since the impact ...
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Happymodel Snapper7 75mm FPV Racing Drone BNF

Main Features:● Wheelbase: 75mm● Receiver: compatible with Frsky D8 receiver, and Flysky AFHDS / AFHDS-2A receiver ( optional )● Power supply: 3.8V 450mAh 30C LiPo battery ( included )● With 700TVL ...
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To check if your batteries are more or less than 100Wh, here is a simple formula:

Volt x Amp hours = Wh

All information is available on batteries. For example, 12V x 8h = 96Wh

How to prepare your drone or batteries

Raules Power 14.8V 70C 1500mAh LiPo Battery

Main Features:● Cells: 4S● Voltage: 14.8V● Capacity: 1500mAh● Discharge: 70C● Discharge plug: XT60 Connector
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3.7V 1000mAh LiPo Battery

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TATTU 15.2V 1550mAh 100C 4S1P LiPo Battery

Main Features:● Voltage: 15.2V● Capacity: 1550mAh● Discharge rate: 100C● Max. burst discharge rate: 200C● Configuration: 4S1P● Charge plug: XH-5P● Discharge plug: XT60
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1500mAh 14.8V Lipo Battery RS Force Edition

Specifications:• Battery capacity: 1300mAh• Voltage: 14.8VFeatures:• Excellent battery quality• Has a longer cycle life than similar products, a higher discharge platform• Better resistance to share ...
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600mAh 7.4V 2S 40C LiPo Battery with JST Plug

Main Features:● Capacity: 600mAh● Continuous discharge rate: 40C ● Plug type: JST plugCaution:Don't over-charge, or over-discharge batteries.Don't put it beside the high temperature condition.Don't ...
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  • Due to a heightened risk of fire, the batteries should neither be fully charged nor discharged as they can comfortably get damaged. They should be charged to a level between 35% and 50% ideally.
  • The battery terminals should be protected from short circuiting with adhesive strips or films.
  • LiPo safe bags can be used to keep them safe. These fireproof bags are not mandatory but we strongly recommend them as it will help you avoid any problems at the security checkpoints if they are stowed in a safe manner.

Suitcase, backpack or hardshell?

  • Drones larger in size, such as the DIJ Inspire 2 are larger in size for the hand luggage so they need to be transported as checked luggage (without the batteries). You should paste a label on the suitcase marking it as “Fragile”.
  • There is no difference whether it’s a backpack or suitcase in case of hand luggage, however, a backpack can be easier to carry.

Here are some of the recommended transport alternatives for varying drone models:

  • DJI Phantom Series Backpack
  • DJI Mavic Pro Bag
  • DJI Inspire Case

Security Checkpoints

  • Batteries should be placed in a separate box
  • Tech gizmos such as laptop, smartphone or tablet should also be placed in a separate box
  • Let the security personnel know that you are carrying a drone with you
  • Luggage containing batteries and camera gear are typically inspected for the risk of explosives. But that is normal and should not be a cause for concern. And even if one of those tests turns out to be positive, do not fret since many drugs, for instance asthma inhalers, are also positive in the tests for explosives.

The personnel are aware that they will rummage through your backpack again and then you will be asked to sign a document. And that’s it!

On the flight deck

  • You must adhere to the rules relevant to the flight deck
  • Cooperate with the aircraft crew and you will have a nice time travelling with your drone.

Have a nice trip!

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