• REMINDER

    Any content, information, or advice found on social media platforms and the wider Internet, including forums such as YBW, should NOT be acted upon unless checked against a reliable, authoritative source, and re-checked, particularly where personal health and liberty is at stake. Seek professional advice/confirmation before acting on such at all times.

    Users who are found to promulgate FAKE NEWS on the forum in regard to this issue, intentional or otherwise, may find their access terminated. It is your responsibility to provide references to bona fide sources.

    FAKE NEWS, in this regard, is that which is posited by organisations, media, etc., that is repeated on the forum, or used to support personal opinion/hypothesis posted by users - FAKE NEWS is not necessarily the personal opinion/hypothesis being posted in itself, any issues with such should be challenged respectfully.

Flying with an EPIRB

Pincoya

New member
Joined
31 Dec 2005
Messages
145
I need to get my EPIRB from Mexico to USA and back and wondered if anyone has any recent experience of flying with an EPIRB, especially through America. Enquiries to the airline and to the TSA have been fruitless.
 

Eeyore

Member
Joined
5 Oct 2007
Messages
803
Location
Labuan, Malaysia
Not USA, but after a delivery just a few weeks ago, we were stopped at Larnaca airport, Cyprus and made to remove both EPIRB and battery jump leads from hand luggage. They were happy for them to go in the hold.
 

photodog

Lord High Commander of Upper Broughton and Gunthor
Joined
8 Apr 2007
Messages
38,414
Ive flown into St Thomas from LHR with a PLB.... no problems in the hold. But that was 4 or so years ago.
 

tcm

Account Closed (By user's request)
Joined
11 Jan 2002
Messages
23,961
Location
Caribbean at the moment
ok with four of the things BUT it was air france and only going to martinique. They did pick them up but ok hand baggage.
 

Pincoya

New member
Joined
31 Dec 2005
Messages
145
Thanks for the replies.

I have just received this from ACR Electronics (manufacturer of my EPIRB), it may be of some use to others. Neither the airline or TSA mentioned hazardous materials!
From ACR-

<span style="color:blue"> </span> I do admit that is has become quite difficult to get the correct information from the different authorities on this issue.

I do know that if you have a RLB 35 P/N 2742 or 2744, it would be against the law to take them on a commercial aircraft. They have HAZARDOUS material batteries and can only be transported on a transport aircraft, or by land. I know that Fedex transport our shipments to any destination we want to ship them to.

'You are now able to buy a NON HAZMAT RLB 35, which can be taken anywhere on any type of transport of your choice. You may however, not replace a HAZMAT battery in an EPIRB with a NON HAZMAT battery. There are minute differences in functionality and electronics between the two.

I hope this answers your question.'

Fortunately mine is a GlobalFix RLB-35 EPIRB.

Of course, all of this will mean nothing to the goons that check it. For a laugh, here are the responses I got form Continental Airlines and the TSA respectively

Continental- I am not sure what that is, however, for information on what you are permitted to bring as checked and/or carry on luggage, please visit the TSA website at www.tsa.gov.

The link is:
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

If you have additional questions, please call Passenger Reservations

TSA-
Thank you for your email message.

In February 2002, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assumed responsibility for civil aviation security at all commercial airports in the United States. Security screening at foreign airports is beyond TSA jurisdiction. Travelers must go through different clearance procedures when crossing international borders.

We encourage you to contact the Customs & Border Patrol at 877-287-8667 or visit CBP's website at http://www.cbp.gov for assistance. You may also submit questions on their website if you are unable to find the information you seek.

In addition, for domestic travel within the U.S., TSA's current security screening procedures require all carry-on luggage and accessible property be screened before passengers take them onboard an aircraft. Regardless of whether an item is on the prohibited or permitted items list, the Transportation Security Officers (TSO's) have discretion to prohibit an individual from carrying an item through the screening checkpoint or onboard an aircraft if the item poses a security threat.

Therefore, TSA security screening personnel will make the final decision on whether to permit items like that into the sterile area of the airport. Should you need additional assistance, feel free to contact us at toll free 866-289-9673.

We hope this information is helpful.

TSA Contact Center



Paul
 
Joined
8 Mar 2004
Messages
2,189
In Europe, at least, there is nothing to prevent an EPIRB flying either as carry on or hold baggage. There are, however, regs regarding the lithium content of batteries in "consumer devices". These are clearly published by the airline in question - they will - no, they must be able to tell you those details. But then your EPIRB may not even have lithium batteries, in which case there is no issue wharsoever. But as they are aimed at batteries to operate laptops it is hard to imagine how a mere EPIRB could have such a large battery.

(Lithium batteries can catch fire spontaneously and are notoriously difficult to deal with when they do - adding water intensifies the fire!)

[ QUOTE ]
I do know that if you have a RLB 35 P/N 2742 or 2744, it would be against the law to take them on a commercial aircraft. They have HAZARDOUS material batteries and can only be transported on a transport aircraft, or by land. I know that Fedex transport our shipments to any destination we want to ship them to.


[/ QUOTE ]

I don't know who's law this would be against, sounds a bit odd to me.

Every airline's website will tell you what you can and cannot carry, just look yourself! Check the list and if your item - or it's components - does not feature then just take it and don't muddy the waters by asking staff about it. They have no idea what an EPIRB is, it is not on the forbidden list but human nature being what it is...

Generally common sense tells you what you cannot take. Flammable, explosive, corrosive, radioactive or poisonous goods. Less obvious maybe are magnetic goods or Mercury (lethally corrosive to aircraft structures).

Lithium batteries require care. EPIRBS are harmless.
 

Pincoya

New member
Joined
31 Dec 2005
Messages
145
Thanks Mash but,

what we can do in Europe has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what we can do in USA where there is no rhyme or reason to many decisions made about what can or cannot be carried. Since my question was specifically about entering and leaving America with my EPIRB and given that the manufacturer (also in America) was talking about that I can only assume that travelling with this would be contrary to American law.

I have battled with officials in USA when arriving with two PFD's and CO2 cannisters where they threatened to confiscate them as prohibited items and arrest me if I kicked up. Those well armed gentlemen with hands on holsters can be quite persuasive! This is after checking with the airline concerned, getting their approval and checking them in seperately in UK, even though I was continuing with the same airline on a connecting flight from New York! I also recently became aware that USA officials can sieze any laptop computer 'without cause' if it is being carried aboard an aircraft in USA.

Now, I am not trying to start a debate about the merits or demerits of this draconian situation but, as someone who travels through USA airports regularly and experiences the security screening at first hand I want to be on rock solid ground when travelling with technical and valuable pieces of equipment and know whether or not it is a prescribed item. unfortunately, as you will have read in my second message, TSA staff on site will make the final decision about what they will or will not allow to be carried aboard aircraft. There does not appear to be any specific guidance about EPIRB's and, even if there were, the TSA operative gets the final word anyhow.

Upsetting American officials by arguing about items being carried, however politely, is definitely not a good idea if you want to enter and leave their country and loss of that ability would really hurt my wife and I.

So, you will see from my original post that I did contact the airline concerned, after checking their web site. If you are able to point me to the specific location on www.continental.com that details the information I would be ever so grateful because I can't find it. The nearest I can get is a reference to lithium batteries and a link which still does not answer my question.

Or, I could just go with it and risk it being confiscated leaving an operational EPIRB with a UK MMSI in the hands of people who, by their own admission do not know what it is. The common sense you advise suggests, to me at least, that this is neither sensible or advisable.

Paul
 
Joined
8 Mar 2004
Messages
2,189
As I said, the only possible objection to your EPIRB is the batteries. If Continental's website covers that subject (it must) then you have an answer. If, somehow, it doesn't - which seems inconcieveable to me, then ask them about lithium batteries, what they are attached to is neither here nor there.
 

maxi77

New member
Joined
11 Nov 2007
Messages
6,079
Location
Kingdom of Fife
One of the major problems I find with US officialdom is that if the guy on the counter does not know the answer he will make up a rule that he thinks makes him safe from criticism. Once he has made this rule it can be very difficult to question and as you say complaining just makes things worse.

I nearly had one of my team refused entry to the US because the immigration officer he picked did not believe tha we as Brits would be under contract to Uncle Sam, luckily one of the other immigration officers sorted it out before a final ruling was made.

We also had fun with a bit of kit that could not be x-rayed, even with valid state department paper that caused a few heart stopping moments
 

whipper_snapper

New member
Joined
9 Aug 2006
Messages
6,487
Location
Kenya
[gross_oversimplification] Ya. The trouble with Brits is that they are terrified of making decisions and keep referring upwards. The trouble with Americans is that they feel compelled to make decisions - any decision - to show their importance. Both are nightmares in their own special way!
 

SimbaDog

Active member
Joined
12 May 2004
Messages
7,986
Whereas it's so easy getting in & out of Kenya,
seem to remember being stuck at a border crossing for 6 hours once /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

cyczebhes

New member
Joined
28 May 2008
Messages
36
Location
London
No experince of the USA, however, I have traveled (numerious airpots) in/out of the UK, Italy and Greece with an EPIRB. The level of interest has simply been staggering from various security staff. Including those waving guns (the Italians are the most excitable and detailed thank goodness). In my experince it's the pilot who has the final call in terms of getting it on the plane. They at least understand an EPIRB. I also carry all my boat papers (insurance, licence, invoice and operating manual). Simply to demonstrate I have a legitimate reason to carry such an item. I have been asked to remove the battery and I have declined, simply holding my ground and demonstarting accidental activation is not possible (remove pin, coller, slide cover and fire). .

Not sure if this help, however, I doubt you will find the answer in any airport/airline listings
 
Top