Compressed Air Cartridge for Life Jacket - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-16-2010 Thread Starter
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Compressed Air Cartridge for Life Jacket

Hello!

I'm flying to México to go sailing, and I'll be taking my life jacket in my checked baggage. My life jacket is a Mustang auto-inflate style, and requires a proprietary fitting compressed air cartridge. The problem is (obviously) that I can't fly with a little compressed air cartridge, and I'm quite unlikely to find the one that I need while I'm down in México.

I'm thinking that I can possibly un-thread the little black cap from the cartridge (which is the proprietary fitting part) to take with me, and just re-thread it onto a similar air cartridge (of which the boat I'm joining has on board, but just not for a Mustang jacket).

If I un-thread this cap, which is quite tight, will I blow the cartridge? Does anyone out there have any suggestions or experience with this and can offer some advice?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 16 Old 10-16-2010
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We had no success boarding a flight to Antigua with the cannister (which is CO2, not air, btw.....)

It's a hilarious story that I've posted here elsewhere, the irony being that after we were denied, the safety video strongly pointed out the under seat lifejackets which required releasing the contained pair of CO2 cartridges.. so after being denied the lifevest as a carryon(because of the cartridge), we were told there were already 300 or so cartridges in the cabin space already..

You might be able to check it in luggage, but YMMV.

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-16-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply, Faster!

After reading your crazy story, I decided to call the airline (WestJet) and ask them about it. They told me that there is an exception for self-inflating life jackets equipped with CO2 cartridges, and they are allowed in either checked or carry-on baggage. What a surprise, I was totally not expecting that!

Cheers, Russ
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-16-2010
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Faster,
in theory they should be allowed, but while you try to convince an official about it you may miss the flight.
The existing 300 CO2 on the plane have nothing to do with yours. The airline knows there is CO2 in them.
YOU know there is CO2 in your cartridge. Airline does not know it and have no means to check it. I think this is the reason for their concern.


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post #5 of 16 Old 10-16-2010
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To my fellow Canucks

Both Air Canada and WestJet permit CO2 cartridges;

(WestJet) Untitled Document

I do not have the Air Canada page readily available.

(here it is)

Quote:
Life jackets with no CO2 cartridges are accepted as both carry-on and checked baggage. Self-inflating life jackets fitted with CO2 cylinders are accepted as checked baggage only. Two spare cartridges are also accepted.
aircanada.com - Sports Equipment

It seems to be specific to companies. Orcas let me fly with mine. I always carry a spare recharge kit..

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Last edited by jackdale; 10-16-2010 at 05:41 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-16-2010
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For flights over which TSA has jurisdiction you are allowed an inflatable PFD with one active cartridge and one spare attached to the PFD. You can carry them in either carry-on or checked baggage. Hint - keep it on top because it will be looked at. You may have to politely ask the inspector to call a supervisor. I carry a copy of the TSA hazardous material list with me that shows the allowance.

Some airlines have their own more specific restrictions that change from time to time. I haven't had a problem in two or three years other than TSA supervisors using my PFD as a training opportunity for staff. No big deal as long as you aren't short on time for your flight.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-16-2010
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BTW - I have found it best to declare that you have said items in your luggage. If they find it on inspection, you will get called back. That happened to me in Comox.

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post #8 of 16 Old 10-16-2010
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I had the same dramas as faster.
When I got to Darwin, I bought 2 $11 'on special' PFD1's to be legal for the trip!


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post #9 of 16 Old 10-16-2010
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Not true, IIRC, this is at the DISCRETION OF THE CARRIER... according to TSA rules, they are allowed if the carrier allows you to... IT IS UP TO THE AIRLINE.

The current law states:

Quote:
Federal Exception for Self-Inflating Life Jackets - The current exception is found in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Section 175.10 (25)

"With approval of the aircraft operator, a passenger or crew member may carry in checked or carry-on baggage no more than two small gas cartridges containing no hazardous material other than a Division 2.2 gas that are fitted into a self-inflating life-jacket for inflation purposes, plus no more than two spare cartridges."
From an article on the subject:

Quote:
TSA screeners should be aware of this change and prepared to allow self-inflating PFD through their checkpoints. A key disclaimer in this entire regulation is that the airline must also approve carriage of this gear on their aircraft. Most airline passengers aren't carrying PFD's on a routine basis and it shouldn't be a surprise that company polices will vary and not be understood by all employees.

A boater wishing to carry a self-inflating life jacket needs to consult with their airline of choose. Some carriers allow the PFD's to be in carryon baggage, others permit them as part of checked baggage and many prohibit them outright. Check company websites and call ahead of your planned trip. A recent check of published company policies produced these results:
Contacting your air carrier would be wise, and carrying a copy of any e-mail correspondence from the airline giving you permission to carry CO2 cartridges on your flight, along with the TSA guidelines SVA points out, would also be a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
For flights over which TSA has jurisdiction you are allowed an inflatable PFD with one active cartridge and one spare attached to the PFD. You can carry them in either carry-on or checked baggage. Hint - keep it on top because it will be looked at. You may have to politely ask the inspector to call a supervisor. I carry a copy of the TSA hazardous material list with me that shows the allowance.

Some airlines have their own more specific restrictions that change from time to time. I haven't had a problem in two or three years other than TSA supervisors using my PFD as a training opportunity for staff. No big deal as long as you aren't short on time for your flight.

Sailingdog

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post #10 of 16 Old 10-16-2010 Thread Starter
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SD, it's a good idea to have some proof of correspondence printed to show the inspector if there is any question. I just spoke to someone on the phone, but perhaps I should call again and try to have something emailed to me.

jackdale, where did you find that link for WestJet? I'd like to see the page(s) that link to that page.

I guess I should carry a spare too, hey? I was planning to only bring the one that arms the jacket, but I guess another could come in quite handy if needed.

As usual, thanks for all the great advice!
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